It is truly a gift to be a part of the Clayworks Community which I hope to share and spread to others. I first heard of Baltimore Clayworks when I became an Urban Arts Leadership Fellow, which works as a pipeline or I prefer to say, propeller, for arts administrators of color to excel into the field. I always had a deep love and curiosity for ceramics so when I was placed into a fellowship position at Clayworks I knew it was destiny.
Being in a creative environment allows for endless possibilities and hidden treasures. We took off with speed during my fellowship, evaluating the workforce development class, leading initiatives within the Diversity, Equity, Access and Inclusion Committee and towards the end of the fellowship, curating an multi-disciplinary art show and performance. That was 2019, who knew what we had in store for us in 2020.
Fortunately, I was able to take two classes before the closures, one with the legendary Sam Wallace and the other with the lovely and talented Hae Won Sohn. There is magic in working with clay. During my first class I got to experience the healing pleasure that comes from clay and movement. Sam showed us how we can find a seamless rhythm and movement to hand building. I have yet to glaze and fire two out of the three pots I created, one of the things I’m looking forward to when we return. Mold-making with Hae Won was so beneficial to learn as a skill set from such a knowledgeable artist who learned from the best. I miss our Clayworks fam!
While being forced to live without our regular dose of social interaction, what better time than now to count our blessings and look inward. I am living with immense gratitude everyday, practicing the art of tuning into beyond what our senses hold, and learning about quantum physics.
The early part of my days consist of the rewarding work that we do at Baltimore Clayworks, co-cultivating a supportive social justice culture through inclusion strategy work and continuing to serve Baltimore children and youth through our community arts team, even if we have to reinvent our system within the renewed digital world.
In the evenings I move towards more personal work in the studio, which I have been going to every day. Sometimes it’s a glamorous flow of painting and other times I am once again facing a screen to do more computer work. That is why it is ESSENTIAL for me to spend time in the heart of nature everyday and just breathe.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to reach out if you’d like to speak with me!
Ariel Cavalcante Foster
Inclusion Strategist and Community Arts Associate