February 2017

Among the oldest of world traditions is the making of pottery. Born of necessity and infused with creativity and beauty as well as functionality, it is imbued with the power to serve as a unique gift from artist to recipient, connecting lives in meaningful ways.

Photograph by Lyndy Rutledge

On Saturday, February 11 (7:30 to 11 a.m.), Clay Lady Studios hosts the seventh annual Cups of Co- Opportunity, connecting Tennessee pottery artists with pottery enthusiasts and benefiting VSA Tennessee. A non-profit founded by Ambassador Jean Kennedy 35 years ago, VSA serves over seven million children and adults across the nation in providing arts education opportunities to people with disabilities.

This annual event links together potters, community, and VSA artists in a “chain of giving” that mirrors and extends the mission and community impact of the Clay Lady, Danielle McDaniel.

Cups of Co-Opportunity patrons may select from over 300 cups or mugs in a variety of styles, shapes, and colors and make a financial donation. While many patrons arrive early to grab the most unusual designs, others prefer waiting for the magical 9 a.m. opening by co-op artists of the glass kiln for the “reveal” of more cups following a 14-hour raw-flame kiln process. Guests revel in launching their mugs with hot beverages and breakfast breads and participate in activities ranging from table games to a crochet circle or a Jenga© competition.

“VSA Tennessee is most appreciative of the Cups event that The Clay Lady Studio does to support our programs,” says Lori Kissinger, VSA-TN executive director. “This event has become vital to our organization in helping us offer over 20 arts programs a year to people with disabilities, including a dance program, music program, visual arts workshops, and residencies in schools, festivals, and camps.”

The community is invited to enjoy a unique way to spend a cold February morning while extending the chain of giving and the magic of the arts to Tennessee’s large VSA family.

For more information, visit www.theclaylady.com.

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