Pewabic Pottery to Enhance Detroit Art Education

Over the next three years, The Skillman Foundation is providing funding to Pewabic Pottery to bring ceramic art education to Detroit children through in-school, after school and onsite workshops. Shirley Woodson, Director of Arts Education for Detroit Public Schools, and Pewabic Pottery have selected Beard Elementary, Carstens Elementary and Higgins Elementary for the program.

According to Terese Ireland, Executive Directory of Pewabic Pottery, the instruction programs will expose children to new art forms, learning methods and ways to express themselves. "Hands-on arts instruction is extremely important for today's children who are drawn to computers, technology and video games at an early age; and operate at a fast pace with busy schedules. Ceramic art provides children the opportunity to think and reflect on life experiences, encouraging their growth and development," she says.

Pewabic Pottery developed the program with the goals of strengthening arts education, which is proven to attract children's attention and interest in school; improving in-school arts programming to enhance grades and performance; assisting teachers by focusing ceramic lessons to support curriculum and improve academic achievement; and offering historical reference to participating schools and communities, strengthening city pride and individual heritage.

Through exploration and manipulation of clay, students will learn several techniques including the slab method to produce clay tile, the coil method to make vases or animals, and the pinch method to make a bowl. They will learn how to decorate their creations with colored slips and glaze them. And, they will be introduced to the historical and cultural significance of pottery.

Pewabic Pottery plans to reach 1,250 elementary students yearly with the program by offering one-day tours and workshops, after-school programs and fully incorporated in-school programming.

For more information, contact program officer Rex Nelson at 313-393-1185.