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Journey into Clay is museum’s upcoming “Vitality Arts” offering

New Albany MS Journeys in Clay classes Lady with a chicken was made as part of a storytelling series related to the objects found by Seymore Prater. Photo made by Regina Butler

Journey into Clay is the topic of a series of pottery classes offered by the Union County Heritage Museum and Aroha Seeding Vitality Arts for the age 55 and above.

Class purpose and requirements

The museum offers eight classes, beginning September 27, 2019, and continuing through October 21, 2019. The teacher, artist and potter Gail Morton, will explore basic hand building techniques. “New techniques introduced throughout the series of lessons will increase participants’ knowledge of the clay process,” said Jill Smith, Museum Director.

The Journey into Clay classes are free. However, available spaces are limited. The requirement to take the classes is that participants should be able to commit to all eight classes and the culminating exhibit of pieces produced. The schedule is Monday and Friday, 1:30 till 3:30. Classes will be at the Museum Art House, located adjacent to the museum at 205 Highland Street in New Albany.

About the Journey into Clay teacher, techniques

New Albany MS Journey in Clay teacher Gail Morton

Gail Morton is shown taking pieces from the kiln. Photo by Regina Butler

Morton has 30 plus years of experiences as an art teacher and potter. She is currently head of the Art Department at Blue Mountain College. A resident of Thaxton, Gail has extensive experience building with clay, both on the wheel and in the sculptural process. She has studied sculpting in clay throughout her career. Additionally, she is  working on a sculpting-storytelling project from the aspect of the stories of Seymore Prater. Prater once lived in the area and was widely known for his ability to find lost objects.

New Albany MS Journeys in Clay

Slip transfer method was used to create these plates and will be taught as part of this class.

Techniques taught in the classes include making slab bowls, coil vases, learning the sgraffito and slip transfer methods and making hollow based forms that can be related to storytelling. Participants will learn to manage clay through the stages of drying, as well as clay building techniques for sculptural forms.  Also, Journey into Clay students will learn to take two dimensional ideas and make them three dimensional.

Benefits of Vitality Arts

Arts and culture can dramatically reduce the risk of developing depression, decrease the possibility of dementia and improve mental and emotional state of mind. An Aroha Seeding Vitality Arts grant funds the Lifelong Learning classes being offered by the museum. Classes aim to get people out of their homes, to offer socialization and to offer quality learning experiences.

The materials will be supplied. To register for the classes or to find out more information: call the museum at 662-538-0014 or email jill@ucheritagemuseum.com

The New Albany museum is one of 20 United States museums participating in Aroha’s “Seeding Vitality Arts in Museums” grant. This new initiative addresses the urgent need to change the narrative about what it means to grow old in America.

Members of this diverse group of museums, hailing from Alaska to Puerto Rico, are developing and implementing high-quality, intensive arts learning opportunities for older adults.

More about the Aroha grant: https://www.nanewsweb.com/seeding-vitality-arts-grant-awarded-museum/

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