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HMA Completes Improvements to Clay Studios

The Huntington Museum of Art has announced the completion of the Clay Studios Upgrade and Restroom Refurbishment Project. This project included improvements to the Walter L. Brown Clay Studios and the restrooms in the Walter L. Brown Studio, the Walter Gropius Studio, and the rear hall of the main museum building. 

The improvements to the Clay Studios included new stainless-steel counters and cabinets, steel worktables, a stainless-steel sink, a stainless-steel glaze mixing table, four new electric potter’s wheels, a bench grinder, two computerized electric kilns, and a new gas kiln. The existing outdoor gas-operated salt-fire kiln, which is very popular among the artists who participate in HMA’s Clay Classes, was renewed as well. 

The design and improvements to the Clay Studios were guided by the Education Department of HMA with significant input from HMA Artist-in-Residence Kathleen Kneafsey, volunteers and staff members, including HMA’s 2021 Volunteer of the Year, Brian Clouse, who has provided vital support to the Clay Program for more than two decades.  

The improvements to the studio restrooms, which were overseen by Director of Facilities Dustin Burgess, included an emphasis on making the facilities more accommodating and accessible for patrons with disabilities.  

Geoffrey K. Fleming, Executive Director of the Huntington Museum of Art, said, “The completion of this project will significantly improve the operation of our robust clay program and will create a more welcoming and pleasant experience for patrons who visit our site and engage in our programs. It will expand educational opportunities, reduce our operating costs, and ensure that our facilities positively reflect our organization and the State of West Virginia. Through our Walter Gropius Master Artist Program, we often bring nationally known artists to HMA for hands-on studio workshops. Participants come from all around the country to participate in these workshops. Having top-notch facilities and amenities ensures that visitors leave here with a positive perception of what our museum, our state and our region have to offer.” 

This project was made possible with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts, through the Cultural Facilities & Capital Resources Grant. “We are continuously grateful to our elected officials and our partners at the state level who support funding for the arts through grant opportunities like the Cultural Facilities grant. Without them, programs like ours would not be possible,” Fleming said. 

The Huntington Museum of Art intends to resume studio classes in the fall provided the health and safety of instructors and students can be maintained. A full list of upcoming classes and workshops will be available soon at www.hmoa.org.  

For more information on events at HMA, call (304) 529-2701. HMA is fully accessible. 

West Virginia residents may obtain a summary of the registration and financial documents from the Secretary of State, State Capitol, Charleston, WV 25305. Registration does not imply endorsement.