ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Creative Clay’s Transition program students will open their first exhibit of 2017 with “Civil Rights: Yesterday and Today” during Artwalk, Feb. 11, 5-9 p.m. This exhibit, which honors Black History Month, highlights the Civil Rights Movement, from the 1950s through today, and includes ceramic busts of influential figures from that time, along with mixed media pieces and paintings.
In addition to honoring black pioneers of the Civil Rights, the public is invited to share their stories, memories and thoughts about the Civil Rights on a chalk board wall in Creative Clay’s Good Folk Gallery.
Lead teaching artists Gordon Bonnett, Julie Price and Lisa Glaser, under the direction of Denise Baringer, Varying Exceptionalities Teacher/Extended Transition, have worked for several weeks with the students, teaching them about this period of history, the prominent figures who shaped today’s laws relating to Civil Rights, music related to that time and significance that the Civil Rights Movement plays in United States history.
“The theme of this year’s Black History Month exhibit, ‘Civil Rights: Yesterday and Today,’ was chosen because the issues surrounding Civil Rights has been such a big topic in our country today,” said Baringer. “The students were introduced to the movement as it began in the 1950s and developed the exhibit to reflect how it relates to them in their world today.”
The Creative Clay Transition Program for ESE students is a partnership with Pinellas County Schools (PCS) to provide vocational arts training for 18–22 year olds with learning, developmental and/or emotional disabilities. The program focuses on easing the transition from the school environment to post-secondary education that includes the goals of independent living and employment readiness. Creative Clay Transition’s vocational training consists of lessons in art fundamentals, sales, marketing, customer relations, and the over-all business of being an artist.
Student artists work with professional teaching artists five days per week in a variety of media. They experience creating, promoting and selling their artwork at Creative Clay’s storefront in the heart of vibrant downtown St. Petersburg. Students visit local galleries and museums to learn about art history and contemporary artwork, enhancing the classroom studio experience. Student artists also have the option to apply for internships to work in the Creative Clay Good Folk Gallery, Artworks Retail Shop, and Community Arts Studio.
In addition to this exhibit, Creative Clay artist Shashta G., a United States Navy veteran, will show a collection of her paintings in “The Beautiful Women.” Both exhibits are open through April 5.
Creative Clay’s mission is to help people with disabilities achieve full and inclusive lives through access to the arts by providing expressive, educational and vocational experiences. We serve people with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities, as well as people in healthcare settings, children, veterans, and provide outreach art experiences in our community. Visit www.creativeclay.org.