Clay Studio’s Potsketch culminates in gala

Annual Potsketch exhibit culminates April 21 in a live auction and gala at UC Ballroom

Art Beat
Potsketch by Leslie Van Stavern Millar
Missoula artist Leslie Van Tavern Millar created this Potsketch for the Clay Studio’s annual benefit.Photo © Leslie Van Stavern Millar

Potsketch, the 10th annual fundraiser for The Clay Studio of Missoula, opens April 6 with a reception from 5:30-9 p.m. at the studio/gallery on Hawthorne St., and culminates in Potsketch Gala and Auction, 6-10 p.m. April 21 at the University Center Ballroom.

The preview exhibition will feature over six-dozen Potsketches (bidding begins at the reception) and two-dozen live auction ceramic works, sold during the gala.

The evening includes food, beverages, great company, live music by the Captain Wilson Conspiracy and an opportunity to make final bids on Potsketches and one-of-a-kind ceramic works auctioned off by Jeff Medley. The dress theme for this year’s event is “It’s Electric!” Proceeds benefit the clay center’s programs, facilities, and operations.

This unique fundraiser originated in 2004 as a fundraiser to further develop and expand the studio’s facilities. Because most artists draw, the idea was to invite artists to take 10 seconds, 10 minutes, or 10 hours to draw a pot or an image that had an impact on them. To facilitate this, The Clay Studio board and staff selected a group of artists and sent out packages including a 5″x5″ piece of Italian paper, a pencil, and a return mailer and asked the artists to donate an original work. Within a matter of days, the first drawings began arriving and the resulting auction raised $11,000.

This year’s artists include past participants as well as many new submissions. Preview the works April 6-18 at the gallery, and online beginning April 9.

Tickets are $55-$65 or $550 for tables of 10 (available by request). The event typically sells out, so patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at the Clay Studio of Missoula (CSoM), by phone (406-543-0509) or in person (10 a.m.-5 p.m. week days) or online.

About the Clay Studio

Bev Beck Glueckert’s Potsketch
Bev Beck Glueckert created this Potsketch for the Clay Studio of Missoula’s auction and gala.Photo © Bev Beck Glueckert

Founded in 1998, the CSoM was established to fill a void in Missoula’s growing community – the need for a comprehensive ceramic center where community classes could be held and where serious but less established ceramicists could access studio space and professional quality equipment at a reasonable cost. A year later, on March 1, 1999, the CSoM was incorporated as a Montana non-profit corporation.

As the only educational clay center in the Missoula area, the CSoM has become an integral part of the local and statewide arts community. In 2006 it moved to a permanent space three times the size of its initial location. The increased studio space allowed the studio to increase program, workshop, and special event offerings.

The CSoM now holds community classes five days a week, and open studio time seven days a week, 24 hours a day. With the help of numerous dedicated volunteers, the studio built both an eight-ton soda kiln and a traditional, Japanese, wood-fired anagama kiln. Completion of both kilns has enabled the CSoM to expand course offerings, while expanded galleries now include monthly exhibition space as well as a sales gallery for works by our numerous studio artists.

Upcoming events include a 20th Anniversary Celebration on June 16 and a workshop with Deborah Schwartzkopf, titled “Tricks of the Trade,” 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 30.