Fine Arts Students at GCC Tour Local Artist's Studio

Students enrolled the Art program at Genesee Community College Dansville Campus Center get more than classroom lectures—they get a real-world look at artists in their creative spaces. Fine Arts instructor Heather Jones says studio tours as part of Art Appreciation: Focus on Local Art underscore the contributions artists make in the community. ‘The course allows students the opportunity to explore local artists and highlights the value of arts in our area.’

Dansville, New York - Students enrolled the Art program at Genesee Community College Dansville Campus Center get more than classroom lectures—they get a real-world look at artists in their creative spaces. Fine Arts instructor Heather Jones says studio tours as part of Art Appreciation: Focus on Local Art underscore the contributions artists make in the community. “The course allows students the opportunity to explore local artists and highlights the value of arts in our area.”

The class has toured various studios during the first-ever class offering, with the most recent taking place on April 4, 2012 at the Schoolhouse #3 Pottery and Art Center overseen by ceramics artist Mike Carroll in Avon. Mr. Carroll runs three enterprises out of the center: Studio Sales Pottery in a renovated barn that supplies pottery equipment to schools and artists, a workshop where he offers classes and workshops, and the schoolhouse, built in 1853, which serves as Mr. Carroll’s home and gallery.

In the gallery, students were greeted by rows of pottery wheels and projects in various stages of completion, including some waiting to be kiln-fired and others in line for glazing. The kiln, constructed from recycled bricks from former construction sites, can reach temperatures of 2400 degrees Fahrenheit.

The gallery also showcases the artist’s vast collection of handcrafted pieces including pots, plates, cups and bowls, some of which were shaped into hearts. Mr. Carroll says working as a potter is his way of preserving an ancient trade that has played a significant role throughout history. “The individual creativity that I am witness to as a teacher makes me feel better about humanity in general. When we pick up a piece of clay we are engaging in an activity that goes back to the dawn of our species,” and yet the basic methodology for sculpting and finishing clay has changed very little over the centuries, he says.

GCC’s Art Appreciation class previously toured the custom metal working studio of artist Jeff Swift in Dansville, NY.

For more information about the Art Appreciation class, contact Donna Rae Sutherland, associate director of Marketing Communications at GCC: (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616 or via email: dsutherland@genesee.edu.

To learn more about Mike Carroll and his work, visit his website at: http://www.studiosalespottery.com/mike.htm.

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