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“Baltimore Clayworks reopens with help from community” – WBAL-TV

WBAL TV Megan Pringle story on Baltimore Clayworks

WBAL-TV 11 BALTIMORE — By Megan Pringle, News Reporter, Nov. 17, 2017 —

Sometimes you just have to find a way to make something happen, even if it seems impossible. That was the case with Baltimore Clayworks. The nonprofit closed this year, but not for long, thanks to the community.

“I couldn’t figure anything to do with myself,” Adam Hopkins said.

Hopkins said it would be hard to believe he would be sharing his ceramic art with people.

“I was incarcerated. I was in there for getting high,” Hopkins said.

While he was in recovery, he was introduced to ceramics through the nonprofit Baltimore Clayworks, and it changed his life.

“It gave me comfort to be able to beat on that clay, see it mold and come into shape with my own hands,” Hopkins said.

He cherishes not just what he made out of clay, but also the community he created for himself.

“They have my love, and I still have that today,” Hopkins said.

For 37 years, that’s been part of the mission at Baltimore Clayworks — a space created and run by artists who are educating as as well as giving back.

“It now reaches in to some of the most undeserved and marginalized communities in Baltimore,” Baltimore Clayworks co-founder Deb Bedwell said.

But it’s not easy. This year, the nonprofit faced large debt and few options. It had to make tough choices.

“There’s not always enough money, cash, at the end the day to be visionary or to maintain,” Baltimore Clayworks co-founder Deb Bedwell said. “It looked like what they needed to do, was simply close.”

In September, Clayworks did just that, but not for long. Thanks to community support, in November it started teaching classes again.

“That love was still here. It’s like I stepped into a family,” Hopkins said.

And this weekend, the gallery will reopen.

“I felt very gratified to be part of a community that cared that much,” Bedwell said.

That’s a true work of art.