It felt accessible. By accessible, I mean that while I marveled at the skill that's obvious in the pieces I saw, I didn't feel overwhelmed or art stupid. I've been to museums and wandered around thinking I'm pretty sure I should be feeling some kind of way about this art but I'm mostly feeling hungry for the meal I was promised after this.
That didn't happen at The Clay Studio. All the good feelings applied to my visit: interested, engaged, laid back. I think it helped that the gallery bright and open, not too large or too full. I could get close to the pieces, move well around the space, look at the pieces from a lot of angles, and even interact with one piece that had a moving component. I didn't feel overwhelmed. I took my time and walked around and enjoyed myself. When I visited, pieces from the Marge Brown Kalodner Graduate Student Exhibition were up. My three favorites from that exhibition:
1. I visited the day my fuck it phase blog was posted so I bonded with this piece immediately. This is called Noise by Kelly Stevenson from Georgia State University and was my very favorite in the whole place.
new exhibitions, but because they have some cool stuff going on.
1. Date night - only this doesn't have to be with your partner. It can be with your mom, your best friend, your coworker. Hell, it can be you by yourself. It's twice a month from 7-9 p.m. and it's $35/pp for non-members. You get to throw on the potters' wheel like you're Demi Moore in Ghost except with your clothes on and in public. Beer, wine, light snacks, clay, and tools are included. You have the option to have them glaze, fire, and ship your stuff to you for an additional $10. For dates and to register, click here. They book up quickly so get on it!
2. First Friday - this Friday from 5-8 you can throw on a pottery wheel and be right in the thick of things.
3. Clay Fest on Saturday, September 12 - This is right before my vacation, so I can't be there but you should be! Free community festival with Handcrafted Ice Cream Social, live raku firing, wheel battles (studio artists go head to head in a battle on the pottery wheel), music, and more. Everything gets started at 10 a.m.
There's so many other things going on there (classes, tours and demonstrations for groups, summer Clay Camps for kids, etc). You should really check it out and throw it some love...get it? Throw pottery? Throw it some love? Come on. Philly masquerades as all Rocky and cheesesteaks all the time, but we also have a great art scene and I'm not just talking about those little Parkway museums like the Barnes, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, or the Rodin Museum (to name a few). I for one should take advantage of it more.
The Clay Studio Particulars
137-139 North Second Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Hours: 11a-6p Monday through Saturday, Noon - 6p on Sundays. The Clay Studio is also open from 5p-9p the first Friday of every month for First Friday.
Free to enter, but donations are accepted. If you go, please donate at least a dollar. Don't be a chump.