Oldtown Pottery launches art school's Phase 2

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Chestnut Creek School of the Arts officially began Phase II of its long-range plans with the opening of Oldtown Pottery co-op in downtown Galax on April 1.

Phase I is well underway with the successful completion of a variety of classes in diverse genres of art, crafts and music.

Volunteers, board members and staff for CCSA and co-op members have been working for months to prepare membership guidelines, policies, leases and particularly renovations to the pottery studio building.

Many items once located in the school's main facility — the old First National Bank at 100 N. Main St., currently under renovation — have been recycled and moved to Oldtown Pottery.

Teller lines from the former bank are now storage and work tables for the potters, thanks to the help of volunteers Terry Clark, CCSA board member; David Hauslohner, CCSA advisory board member; and Austin Hauslohner, local builder.

The Oldtown Pottery co-op at 110 E. Oldtown St. will operate as a program under the auspices of the art school. The pottery studio will provide a space for creativity with clay and is devoted to supporting, promoting and developing the highest level of the ceramic arts for the community and its artisans.

The co-op seeks to establish and maintain a business environment of fairness, ethics and honesty for members, employees, customers and business partners.

Oldtown Pottery is open to ceramic artists who subscribe to the purposes and goals of the co-op. There are two levels of membership offered, active and auxiliary.

Active members pay monthly dues, participate in committee work, work at the gallery on a regular basis and have benefits such as 24-hour access to the studio space, use of the wheels, slab roller, kilns, display space in the gallery for sales, and clay and glazes at cost.

Auxiliary members pay monthly dues, but are not required to participate in committee work or work in the gallery. Auxiliary members have a different fee schedule.

The co-op is eager to establish Oldtown Gallery for retail sales to augment the general operating needs of the group. A regularly changing exhibit work from local students, artists and professionals will be created. Oldtown Pottery will also sponsor shows of various media for all ages.

The co-op will host pottery and ceramic classes for Chestnut Creek School of the Arts to encourage lifetime love of learning and creating. These classes will be for adults and children, beginners to experienced artists.

Oldtown Pottery will assess the needs of the local community and support programs, such as Empty Bowls, which will connect various people and groups for the benefit of others.

• To learn more about classes, more about the pottery co-op or for more information about CCSA, visit chestnutcreekarts.org or call 236-3500.