Reporter Megan Pringle visited Clayworks

“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.

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

  1. Diane Kenney - November 27, 2017

    This is Wonderful News!! Very happy to hear this. Baltimore Clayworks was one of my main role models for a community clay center when I was working on starting the Carbondale Clay Center. Deborah Bedwell was so generous in giving me advice and sharing information.
    Very happy that BCW is back! I bet it’s better than ever!

  2. Monita Cooke - November 27, 2017

    So glad you were able to reopen, Deb! I can’t imagine Baltimore or the art scene without Clayworks. You saved my life many years ago by giving me a chance to spread my artistic wings, although I think I was probably more effective keeping the studio’s books. If I ever get back to Baltimore, I’ll be sure to stop by and see what interesting artwork the current students are making.

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