Clayworks is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of ceramic arts, advancement of artists and students, and enrichment of the communities it serves.
Clayworks supports its mission with programming and operations that include adult, children and family classes, lecture series, the Clayworks gallery, artist development programs, scholarship programs, and community impact programs including the mobile and satellite studios for diverse populations.
Clayworks is committed to:
- being a welcoming and supportive community of creative individuals.
- creating and promoting ceramic art.
- contributing to and engaging with the community.
- encouraging personal and artistic growth and exchange of ideas.
- providing education for all ages and abilities.
- fostering collaboration.
- creating an inclusive, respectful environment for all people.
- being a strong, fiscally responsible organization.
- emphasizing innovative practices in arts administration.
For nearly five decades, Clayworks, the fourth largest nonprofit teaching facility in the U.S., has promoted ceramic art and art education in the Charlotte community. Established in 1977 under the auspices of Spirit Square Center for Arts & Education, the studio offered courses at the center’s original North Tryon Street location. From 1996 to 1997, Clayworks operated in the same location under the Arts & Science Council. In 1998 the organization was absorbed under the McColl Center for Visual Art and relocated to studio space on East 9th Street. In 2004, Clayworks became an independent organization, maintaining its same location, but establishing its own 501(c)3 status. Clayworks moved to its current Monroe location and purchased the building in 2011, creating a permanent home for the organization.
Throughout its history, Clayworks has strategically expanded its offerings beyond ceramics classes to include specialized workshops, studio space rental for individual ceramists, and a gallery to promote and sell the work of both faculty and professional artists.
Today, Clayworks' outreach into the Charlotte community is a significant part of is day-to-day operations. Through its mobile classroom, Monroe studio, and relationships with local Ys, libraries, and schools, Clayworks brings self-confidence, motivation, and creative skills to the many participants in its programs, including those in under-served communities and those with cognitive/developmental disabilities.