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Boreal Community Media

Grand Marais Art Colony Announces Three New Ceramics Studio Access Programs

Jan 05, 2024 09:10AM ● By Editor
Image:  Courtney Cook 

From the Grand Marais Art Colony - January 5, 2024

Over the past year, the Art Colony has implemented new programs in our ceramics studio to offer more people the opportunity to work with clay. In addition to offering many multi-week classes, workshops, and demonstrations for both beginner and advanced students, we now have opportunities for studio access that are more flexible, and geared towards artists with varying levels of studio needs and experience.  

Three new programs are helping us achieve our goal of broadening access to the clay studio, including our Cohort Renter Program, Studio Access Punch Card, and Kiln Firing Punch Card.  


We have revamped our renter program to establish a more intentional and supportive cohort experience that honors renters' artistic and professional goals. This is a one-year program, with the option to renew for two more years, that includes 24/7 studio access, your own private workspace, and an opportunity to show work during Art Along the Lake. The program serves as an incubator to foster independence, agency, and self-sufficiency within the artists in our community.  We have also improved the studio itself with more shelving space, wheels, and other equipment and storage upgrades.


We are often asked how to get into the studio outside of taking a class. We are answering this request with our new Punch Card program. This program allows those who have taken at least one class and/or have a foundational knowledge of clay to work in the studio. Punch card users can sign up for four-hour studio sessions to continue their practice outside of classes.  A card is good for three months (October-December, February-April, July-September).  Currently, cards can be purchased for the February-April period.


We have another punch card for those who want to fire their work in our kilns. These punch cards are for artists who may have a home studio but do not have a kiln to fire their work.  There is the option of using studio glazes for an additional fee. The card is good for 12 months from the date of purchase and includes eight firings in one of our electric kilns.


We continue to offer a variety of class options, from 10-week studio classes to shorter entry points mini-classes and demonstrations. Youth and adult scholarships are available.


To support these new programs, in April of 2023, the Art Colony hired Brett Monahan to manage the studio. Brett has managed his own pottery business since 2014 and is well-versed in studio repairs and upgrades, and glaze and clay development. He previously taught classes at Edina Art Center and has vast experience in production work (Front Avenue Pottery and Tile, Grey Fox Pottery, and Red Wing Stoneware). 

We have received funding from (and are greatly indebted to) the Lloyd K Johnson Foundation for specifically supporting these studio upgrades and program transitions. 

We invite the community to take advantage of this tremendous local resource. Research has shown that the arts in general and ceramics specifically, promote well-being and create space for social connection. The tactile nature of ceramics provides a unique sensory experience and can alleviate stress while offering an alternative form of expression that goes beyond verbal communication. There is a tremendous sense of accomplishment when creating a piece from start to finish and a strong sense of camaraderie in the studio and classroom.

For more information about the Ceramic Studio Access Programs, visit the Art Colony website here.  For questions, contact [email protected] or call us at 218-387-2737.

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