KAC ceramics studio for the community
November 1, 2013
The Kimball Art Center’s ceramics studio is usually pretty busy. It hosts all kinds of classes for adults, teens, tweens, families and even toddlers. And it’s working on getting even more local artists and aspiring artists to participate.
Kourtney Burgner, ceramics studio manager at Kimball Art Center for the past year and a half, told The Park Record the studio is in the process of being improved upon and upgraded.
"When I got [to KAC], it needed a lot of TLC. It still does, we’re still just making changes and chipping away at them as we can afford them," she said.
The studio recently added three new pottery spinning wheels as well as a new slab roller. Burgner says the biggest need right now is a new kiln for firing sculptures.
"Last year one of the kids that comes in here, his mom was scouring the Internet and found that one for us and so we went and bought it. It’s fantastic. But now our two electric kilns that we’ve had working are they need a lot of money in repairs and so it’s going to be more cost-effective to replace them," she said. "The ones that we’re looking at cost around $2,500 each."
Burgner said the original plan was to have a fundraiser for the studio in October, but classes have been going so well and the studio so busy that the fundraiser was delayed until the new year. "It’s gonna be really fun," she said. "It’s still going to happen!"
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Though she enjoys teaching people of all ages and levels of experience, Burgner says one age group in particular is fun.
"Honestly my very, very favorite is tween class. Because they are very creative and they get it on the first try — all of them," said Burgner. "And they’re really off the wall and usually they talk about weird stuff. And the boys always get it like right off the bat."
The KAC ceramics studio serves approximately 70 members and almost 500 students per year. In addition, "We serve 1,000 school age students in the area," said Burgner, "[via] our arts tours, which is an outreach program provided by the Kimball for free."
The ceramics studio is especially useful for sculptors in the area who can join the KAC as members.
"It’s also a facility for people that can’t necessarily afford a studio or maintenance of a studio," Burgner said. "For you or I to try and find space and get all this equipment gathered up and maintain it, maintain all the glazes, I mean, it’s a costly thing. If you’re not going to be producing things and selling them, I wouldn’t say it’s impossible to do as a hobbyist at your house, but it’s pay the 50 bucks and come here, ya know?"
Burgner noted that, in addition to the facilities, the collaborative and congenial feel of the studio is enjoyable.
"It’s a really nice community — a community feel," she said. "When I was in school I had a class called Studio. And it was people that were painters, photographers, potters. And everyone would come together and sort of collaborate on the projects we were working on and just get other artistic feedback, and that’s a really nice thing about being in here. Because we have [seasoned] artists and then we have people who are beginners and everyone sees things differently and so it’s really nice to have that community feel."
The Kimball Art Center, 638 Park Ave., is offering ceramics classes for all ages. Visit http://www.kimballartcenter.org or call (435) 649-8882 for class information.