Our Campus - Art Center West
Did you know that right here in Roswell there is an outstanding community pottery studio? Art Center West is a facility operated by Roswell’s Parks, Recreation, Historical and Cultural Affairs Department. Both adult and youth clay classes are taught at Art Center West which is located in Leita Thompson Park just behind the off-leash dog park in the white house on the hill.
There are a variety of adult clay classes offered at Art Center West. Beginning through advanced handbuilding courses guide students through basic forming techniques including pinch, coil and slab construction as well as a variety of surface and finishing options. Beginning wheel-throwing courses instruct participants to wedge, center and throw basic forms such as mugs, bowls, and vases. More advanced wheel courses offer instruction for more complicated forms and refining of technical skills on the wheel as well as a variety of surface design options. Students explore both human and animal forms during their figurative sculpture courses, and in the atmospheric firing class, participants are able to experiment with alternative firing techniques such as raku, saggar and soda firing. Art Center West also offers an independent study which allows intermediate to advanced students time in the studio to complete desired projects outside the structure of a formal class.
Art Center West also offers youth wheel classes for young folks as young as 8 years old and will be offering a new program called, Clay and Climb, this spring. Aspiring young artists will learn the basics of making wheel-thrown pottery accompanied with learning the up and coming sport of recreational tree climbing. Classes are offered weekdays, evenings and Saturdays with additional open studio hours peppered around scheduled programs that allow adult students to come in and work on their own. In addition to quarterly programming, several workshops are offered throughout the year by visiting artists to help expand the skill-sets students have acquired in and out of class.
If one were to walk through the studio on any given day they would witness a diverse assortment of art being made. In one room students are working on figures in varying poses, and in another, participants are forming bowls, jars and plates on potter’s wheels. Other students may be upstairs learning how to mix and experiment with glazes as part of a studio procedures class. A visit in the narrative clay class finds students working on combining the written word with their clay piece. One student shows off a memory jug to commemorate a recent trip to Tibet.
The gallery downstairs is host to a huge cross-section of finished works that are possible using the ceramic medium. The exhibition space hosts 8 ceramics exhibits per year that vary from sculptural to figurative to functional and is free and open to the public.