Center Brings Art Opportunities for All
By Kara Isham | Photos courtesy of Community Creative Center
Albert Einstein once said, “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.”
One local organization that takes this sentiment to heart is the Community Creative Center.
A visual arts organization in Fayetteville, the Community Creative Center is best known for its hands-on studio classes and workshops offered to the community. These educational opportunities come in a variety of art forms including clay, painting, drawing, printmaking, sand casting, leather working and mixed media. The center’s 6,900-square-foot building includes a fully equipped pottery studio, multi-purpose art studios and exhibition space for local artists.
Bryce Brisco, the center’s new executive director, says he and his team are focused on growing the center’s offerings for all ages and skill levels.
“We are a community space,” Brisco says. “We have a ton going on right now. Whether it be for kids, seniors or adults, there is something for everyone.”
The center is continuing its focus on providing arts education experiences for community members and area schools as well as its partnership with other nonprofit arts and community organizations. The next 6-week class session begins May 9 and will include painting, printmaking and pottery. The center also offers single trial classes for potential new students as well as couples classes.
But there will also be an exciting new offering this month when the center hosts the first annual Arkansas Pottery Festival. The public is invited to come enjoy this free festival May 6-8 that will include pottery demonstrations and a lecture by nationally recognized artist Bill Jones, an exhibition of master works from private ceramics collections and an exhibition and pottery sale from more than 50 potters from around the state. The three-day weekend will also include a lecture by Lawrence McElroy from the Arkansas Archeological Society, as well as a cookout, potluck and live music event.
Also throughout the weekend, the Community Creative Center will be partnering with Botanical Garden of the Ozarks in a flowerpot and plant sale, with a wide selection of affordable handmade planters and locally grown plants.
Running concurrently with the center’s pottery festival will be the UARK Ceramics Student Sale and Exhibition and tours of the Historic Cane Hill Museum. Sunday’s visitors to the museum will also enjoy a site visit to the J.D. Wilbur Kiln excavation project, a pottery dating to the mid 1800s, as well as tours of the University of Arkansas Museum’s extensive collection of ceramics and pottery.
“Arkansas doesn’t really have anything like this festival like other states do,” Brisco says. “This festival will be a great way to meet potters from around the state and find out what the whole statewide community is doing.”
Bryce says the event will be educational for anyone interested in pottery, but it will also bring awareness to the talent of local ceramic artists and inspire collaboration.
This summer the center will also be bringing back its popular kids summer camp. The 15th consecutive year for the camps will begin in June, with each week offering a differently themed camp. This year kids can choose from themes such as Animals in Art, Clay All Day, The Natural World, Ancient Inspirations, Art for Art’s Sake, and Heroes and Monsters. Campers attending multiple weeks will receive a discount this year.
“Our summer camps are based on a really successful model,” Brisco says. “The projects the kids work on are very different every week. The camps are based in arts education, focused on getting kids exposed at an early age to important works.”
This fall the center will continue its Senior Series, a series of free educational workshops for adults age 62 and older that is sponsored by the Schmieding Foundation.
The center will also host its annual Pottery on the Patio events Oct. 8 and Oct. 22. These free open-air events feature pottery wheel mini sessions, watercolor lessons, button and sidewalk chalk mural making, live music and refreshments — all taking place in the circle drive of the Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios.
Closing out the year of special events for the center will be the annual Holiday Market Dec. 3-17, featuring affordable gifts and unique items handmade by local artists and craft makers.
The public is always invited year round to come enjoy the art hanging in the McCoy Gallery inside the Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios, which features exhibitions from regionally and nationally recognized artists as well as collaborative exhibitions. Brisco says the center is also hoping that its Wheel Mobile, a mobile pottery studio, will be available to the public again soon.