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  • Sue Stelzmann

It was a cold and dreary night....

With drinks at the ready, a dozen folks gathered around the outdoor fire pit with a struggling fire (Thanks Perdita Ross, Gordon, Ashley, Bill Callis, Debbie Lightsey, Rusty, Beth Heron, Mary Donahue, Bob Husky and Matty Johnson for coming) After a good amount of socializing, we gathered as a group to reflect on the Open Studio event and Studio Tour and developing a spring event for clay artists. From that here is a skimming of the things we talked about:

The Open Studio event had a lot of publicity and a steady group of people came to the event. I did two TV interviews, wrote all our city and county commissioners and had an interview on WFSU Morning radio (Thanks Tom Flannigan!). October may not be the best time for this National event for our community especially so close to our Studio Tour. There were many who wanted to go but “missed” it because of other things to do. We talked about moving the event to Railroad Square on a First Friday to showcase our talents or 621? Would a venue change help?

The Studio Tour’s 8 locations had a mix of success. Tally Clay Arts and South Paw Pots did not get much foot traffic and few sales. Not sure about Lafayette Arts and Crafts inaugural sale but the other locations did as well. There is consensus that the weekend before Thanksgiving is a good choice for our event – the weather is usually cool and dry. Consolidation into fewer locations was discussed but there was concern the event would become less of a studio tour. Better directional signs and investment into large flags / feathers for each location that mark the entrance was suggested. Efforts to write newspaper articles and appear on television and radio and having an advertisement plan would be very helpful. Of course… this all boils down to hard work. I need help with all this and that brings me to my next topic….

An advisory board.

Yes, I need help and feedback. My goal with Tallahassee Clay Art is to create a sustainable, vibrant community of clay artists and potters. To do that requires the work of like-minded folks willing to give of their time and talents. Specifically I need help with the November Studio Tour,

Open Studio with pottery demonstrations and development of a group show that will get us into a gallery (621? Gadsden Arts Center? LeMoyne?) Three big community events that showcase our clay community and gets the public’s interests in the ceramic arts.

Anyone who has hosted during the Studio Tour or would like to donate their time helping me develop promotional strategies and publicity packets is invited. The advisory board would meet about once a month. Soon I will set up our first meeting for those who are interested. Stay tuned!

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