American painter Thomas Kinkade once said, “Art transcends cultural boundaries.” That might be true, but not everyone has access to viewing or creating art. The Cornell Creative Arts Center in Kingston, developed by The Arc Mid-Hudson, hopes to change that by offering accessible, all-inclusive ceramics lessons.
“We created an all-inclusive arts program that aligns with the community’s needs,” says Rachel Jacob, art director of the Cornell Creative Arts Center, located on Cornell Street. “It’s a local hub and art center where people can take art classes and work together. We focus on eliminating barriers and obstacles to having access to the arts, whether it’s financial, time constraints, or even the ability to access the facility.”
The Center’s facilities are ADA accessible and welcome artists of all ages, abilities, and experiences. “Not only will you be creating art, but in some of our classes you can learn about mindfulness—controlling your thoughts, emotional intelligence and things like that,” says Jacob.
The Center will offer three types of ceramics classes. The first is a six-week session that meets once a week for 2½ hours. The cost is $240 for all materials, but not including firing fees for the kiln.
The second is a one-time, 2½ hour class that varies in cost from $80 to $130, depending on the project. Finally, there will be a back-to-back weekend class, which consists of two Saturdays, for 2½ hours each. Costs vary from $115 to $130.
“The equipment we have is exciting too, including eight pottery wheels and a ninth that is a rare wheelchair accessible wheel with a hand, not a foot pedal,” Jacob says. “We also have a slab roller, four-person wedging table, and a pugmill which is a device used to reclaim and recycle clay to reduce waste. Our dedicated glazing area has over 20 glazes.”
“Art fills a void in people’s lives and brings meaning and self-expression,” says Jacob. “We ultimately don’t want to turn anyone away.”
For more information and a list of classes, visit the ceramics studio at the Arts Center 80 Bruyn Avenue, Kingston NY, 12401; call (845) 797- 4054 or visit cornellcreativeartscenter.com/ for more information and to register for classes.