The Arts Center of Saint Peter helps people make some of the most enjoyable and productive mistakes of their lives. It happens when they’re elbow-deep in clay and sweaty with the effort it takes to focus, breathe, and center again and again. Here in the region’s largest independent clay studio, we teach youth and adults alike the joys and rewards of making and re-making in a medium that has no “control-Z” key. Ten area potters rent space in the studio, some producing purely personal work, some making pieces to be shown regionally and nationally. All are invited to consign work in our gallery shop at an artist-friendly 70 percent commission.
Funding from The McKnight Foundation makes it possible for us to keep the clay studio well-maintained and professionally staffed. In particular, this past year it allowed us to pay an experienced teacher to host free monthly open studio nights, a popular downtown attraction which had lapsed in recent years. We revived open studios last fall, and they’re now drawing families, youth groups, college students, dating couples and retirees — a range of people who share an interest in learning something new in a supportive, creative environment.