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Surface and Service Exhibition

On April 6, Surface and Service exhibition opened in the Community Arts Gallery at Baltimore Clayworks and runs through May 25.  This exhibition provides a snapshot of the creativity and interests of some of Clayworks’ many partners throughout the greater Baltimore area. In a given year,  Clayworks’ community partners include schools, community centers, churches, and social service agencies throughout Baltimore City and the surrounding regions. 

The creative efforts in this particular exhibition were led by Clayworks’ Americorps Resident, Audrey Lee Naiva, along with assistance from artists, Vandelyn Simmons and Bernadette Larimer. The exhibition features work by participants from four of our many partner organizations: Banner Neighborhood Community Corporation; Mother Seton Academy; Maryland Veterans with the Department of Veterans Affairs; and Community Art Collaborative, an AmeriCorps Program at MICA. Each group of individuals had the opportunity to glaze service ware provided by Clayworks to create works that are both meaningful to them and represent the ways in which Clayworks connects with our partners’ interests through clay.   

In addition, these pieces also represent how Clayworks’ Community Arts program brings art experiences of authenticity, excellence, and meaning into the lives of children, adults and seniors, who do not usually have such access.  Participants at our partner sites learn to overcome challenges through creativity and encouragement.  They are energized by and proud of their accomplishments and our partners recognize this.   

Kelsey Eisenhauer, LPMT, MT-BC, a music/creative arts therapist at Perry Point VA, states:  

“The Baltimore Clayworks has been a great partner in expanding our Veterans access to creative arts and helping them explore new ways to be creative. Oftentimes our Veteran participants may be coming in with little to no experience and some anxiety and trepidation about a new space and what they will be asked to do. Over the course of their time in these workshops, most of our Veterans are able to find a sense of peace and calm and are able to embrace their creativity in ways that felt challenging walking in the door.”  

Susan Tuberville, Program Manager, Community Art Collaborative, an AmeriCorps Program at MICA, writes:  

“We’re grateful to Baltimore Clayworks for their partnership with CAC and their commitment to expanding access to the arts in Baltimore! We loved learning a new surface design technique from Audrey and exploring the creative possibilities that clay offers!  Each cup [in the exihibition] is as unique as CAC members’ experiences in different community settings this year. The image of a table setting is a fitting metaphor for community-based work: the love, care, and labor that goes into the preparation of a meal, the connection that happens across the table, cups that go from full to empty to full again. We loved learning a new surface design technique from Audrey and exploring the creative possibilities that clay offers!”  

During the course of this exhibition, Clayworks will accept donations to support our Community Arts partnerships. The proceeds will go to support future programming with our partner sites.  If you are a community group interested in hosting clay programming at your location, please contact Holly Jackson, Interim Community Arts Manager, at holly.jackson@baltimoreclayworks.org