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Heartfelt Moments at East Street Clay Studios, Hadley, MA 02/14/2012

by on March 6, 2012

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On Tuesdays I teach a class at the Academy at Charlemont.  (Disclosure, my two kids attend the school and one of them is currently in the class.) I teach this class with two full time art teachers Thomas Brown and Kerlin Coyningham.  We utilize one the region’s specialties, the variety of artist studios, museums and art professionals in a field trip based program.  Due to the small scale of the school (110 students grades 7 – 12), a two+hour studio block and a bus driver (previously mentioned Thomas Brown), we are able to leave campus for visits up to one hour away.  Our visit on February 14th took us to East Street Clay Studios in Hadley, MA.  This is the studio I worked in over 20 years ago when I was a ceramicist and the two potters we visited have been there ever since.  (More disclosure – at my gallery in Pittsfield, we represent one of them Mara Superior and occasionally show works by the other Donna McGee.)

Often these visits take us to places and people I’ve known throughout my lifetime of being first a producing artist, then a shop/gallery owner in Northampton, MA -Pinch Pottery and PINCH! and now as the owner/director of Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA.  On this particular day and visit, the trip down memory lane was reinforced by the photos on the bulletin board and a visit to the studio space where my formative years were spent.  While I watch these kids learn about the lives of artists, I often marvel at how long I’ve been doing what I do, how the years have flown by and how I was their age when I started down this path – making pottery in high school, taking photography in junior high school, going to summer programs to study photography, glass and finally choosing Hampshire College, Hadley MA and studying art at the five colleges, glass at UMASS, art history at Smith and Mt. Holyoke (more disclosure – my professor, Roy Superior is the husband of previously mentioned artist Mara and Roy now teaches drawing and watercolor at the Academy. I’ve since gone on from that studio, to almost 30 years later establishing another version of the group studio where I currently live and artists work in our renovated mill building, Project Art, Cummington, MA.

The slide show from the day captures some of the “heart” felt moments we experienced on Valentines Day.


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