It’s time to learn more about ceramics at The Art Studio, Inc.

Art Studio founder Greg Busceme said the event was a great opportunity for residents to experience ceramics from some of America’s top artists, including Patsy Cox, Steven Erickson, Gary “Greeny” Greenberg, Chris Leonard, Danielle Weigandt and Stephen Wolochowicz.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to come and see what we’re doing,” Busceme said. “These artists are friends I’ve come to know over the years at conferences and workshops and they’re some of the best professionals in their craft – they’re an amazing and fun bunch.”

Busceme said specific event times will be posted on The Art Studio’s Facebook page and website. The demonstrations will begin around 10 a.m. on July 7 and 8 and will continue in the evening as long as it is busy.


“The Studio held a series of back-to-back Gumbo Clayfests beginning in 1998,” Busceme said. “The last one was in 2004, but we were hit pretty hard by Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008, and it just wasn’t financially possible for us to host the event.”

Gumbo Clayfest artists are affiliated with the National Council of Education for Clay Arts organization and the group has served as a forum for building working relationships over the years, Busceme said.

The first TASI Gumbo Clayfest kicked off in March 1998 and one of the original guest artists, Gary Greenberg, will return for the 2022 event.

“The NCECA conferences provided Art Studio artists with exposure to the larger world of ceramic arts,” Busceme said. “The events serve to elevate TASI to national exposure. Because of what we do here, people and artists want to come here. We’re a unique place, and we hear so often that there aren’t many places like the Studio. It’s a special place.

COVID canceled the 2020 conference, and the 2021 conference was virtual. So TASI artists are once again eager to perform in-person events, which led Busceme to invite this year’s artists to Southeast Texas.

Greenberg traveled to Beaumont in 2021 to help TASI build a new salt kiln with a host of community volunteers, including students from Lamar University as part of their annual Big Event Day. “.

“It has always been a place reflecting the vision of its founder and its patrons that enables art and all the good things associated with it,” he said.

This year, Greenberg is building another kiln and hosting a glaze workshop. All incoming artists will present demonstrations of their techniques and attendees can join in creating art that will become part of TASI’s art collection.

Greenberg has been involved in ceramics for over 50 years. For the past three decades, he has been an assistant professor of art and ceramics at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, working on aluminum-fired, low-fired, and wood-fired art objects and vessels. Her work has been featured in several publications and exhibitions across the United States.

Greenberg is known for his quirky humor and sense of irony in all things. He and Busceme met at an NCECA convention through a mutual friend who had attended graduate school with Busceme – and as they say, “the rest is history” in the collaborative friendship. of a lifetime. Greenberg says TASI is a unique institution.

“Although I am very serious in producing a work, I am convinced that it must contain an element of humor, reflecting the absurdities of life in general and art in particular,” he said. he declares.

Like Greenberg, artist Patsy Cox has a long history with Busceme. They met 20 years ago when Cox’s graduate teacher, Victor Spinski, invited Busceme to visit. Spinski was also a teacher, mentor and friend of Busceme and Greenberg.

Cox is Professor of Visual Art and Head of Ceramics at California State University, Northridge and has international and national exposure and a teaching resume that includes China and Taiwan. Her work and lectures have been recognized coast to coast in the United States, and she will teach attendees how to create plaster molds using alginate – a material made from seaweed – and using stamps to make colored clay bodies.

This will be Cox’s first Clayfest, and she said art is a tool that connects with human senses to reveal deeper meanings of existence and is a visual language in which people can communicate and interact with the world around them. She hopes visitors will take part in the experience.

“Institutions that provide exposure to experiences, such as Clayfest, open up dialogue to reveal opportunities for everyone involved to become better global citizens through education and awareness of a variety of perspectives,” Cox said. “When artists come together to create, there is a palpable energy through the shared activity that depends on an exchange with the local community.”
Other debutants include Erickson, Leonard, Weigandt and Wolochowicz.

Wolochowicz is an associate professor of ceramic art at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, whose current work uses abstract industrial forms that have organic characteristics. At the workshop he will discuss and demonstrate coil building techniques and how to build accurately to scale from drawings.

Many artists share the learning experiences of some of the same teachers and mentors. Like Cox, Erickson also studied with Spinski. Retired from teaching at the City University of New York, he now works as a full-time studio artist at his home in upstate New York.

“At the National Conference for the Education of Ceramic Artists, I immediately clicked with Greg, his energy and enthusiasm was contagious,” Erickson said. “He told me all about TASI and what was happening in Beaumont. Places like TASI offer everyone the opportunity to come and exercise their imagination. »

Erickson said that in the age of YouTube videos where everyone can know everything, in-person workshops give real-time feedback.

“I hope people who attend Gumbo Clay Fest will come away with a few things,” he said. “Number one, I hope they meet a bunch of crazy people who like to do things. Second, I hope they find something that will help them keep going no matter what their journey. Third, I hope that if they’ve never been to TASI before, they understand that it’s an inclusive environment where they can just be themselves no matter who they are Or if they’ve been part of TASI for a while , they see that Greg is totally committed to providing a great learning experience.

Weigandt is Artist-in-Residence at the University of North Dakota and for the workshop will discuss and demonstrate the ins and outs of using pulp techniques to create his work. Like all artists coming to Clay Fest, she was inspired to create art by her teachers and mentors, and a willingness to use her creativity from an early age.

She met Busceme at a conference through Wolochowicz and loved the idea of ​​coming to Beaumont to share her inspiration for art.

“I want them to find that spark of excitement that ceramics can give you,” she said of Clayfest attendees. “Learn all the things from all the wonderful artists who are going to be

Beaumont won’t be the only Texas community represented at the event. Chris Leonard is Professor of Ceramics at South Texas College at McAllen and coordinates the South Texas Ceramic Showdown.

“It’s a showcase for everyone to see what the studio has been doing for 39 years,” Busceme said. “We want everyone to come out – no ceramic training necessary – this is an event for anyone interested in art.

“There will be something for everyone, of all ages and from all walks of life. We just want people to come and enjoy and see the studio.

An open house to meet the artists will take place on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Demonstrations will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday

For more information, follow The Art Studio, Inc.’s Clay Fest event Facebook page or call 409-838-5393 or visit their website at artstudio.org.

Comments are closed.