The Daily Gamecock

Midlands Clay Art Society creates new outlet for artists, shoppers

<p>The Midlands Clay Art Society is having a holiday sale over in early December, 2022. All artwork being sold was made by local artists.</p>
The Midlands Clay Art Society is having a holiday sale over in early December, 2022. All artwork being sold was made by local artists.

This holiday season, the Midlands Clay Art Society is creating an outlet for artists and providing an opportunity for shoppers to expand their horizons into clay art. 

Midlands Clay Art Society is a collection of clay artists and potters that foster creativity and appreciation for clay art. The society will be putting on its 21st annual Midlands Clay Arts Holiday Sale from Dec. 1 to Dec. 3 at Stormwater Studios.

The society was founded in 1987 and will be holding its 21st Annual Holiday Art Sale this year. 

The Holiday Sale will include the works of 25 different artists and feature an artist’s reception at 6 p.m. on Dec. 1. On Dec. 3, the Midlands Clay Art Society will also be hosting a pop-up salefeaturing eight new artists from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside of Stormwater Studios. 

“It was very cool that we had so much interest this time that we had to come up with a creative way to give some more people an opportunity to get some exposure,” Debbie Patwin, the organization’s vice president, said.

The Midlands Clay Art Society is heavily devoted to the growth of the clay art community as a whole, according to Leigh Deforth, the group's secretary and a member of the sales committee. Many of the society’s meetings occur at the Columbia Arts Center, paving the way for local artists that complete their work at that facility to join the group. 

The society also helps connect perspective members with artistic learning opportunities through pottery and sculpture-themed art classes. New artists are then given the opportunity to sell their art at the Holiday Art Sale.

Teresa Donelan, a local artist and the chair of the event, said the artists themselves are what makes the event special.

“We have so much talent here in the Midlands, and it's really nice to see all the local people and how much talent they have,” said Donelan.

"I would say that's what's kind of cool about our art sale is there's 20 something people doing it, but everybody's work is totally different," Patwin said.

All of the pieces for the sale are made by the artists and include holiday-themed ornaments, decorations and fine jewelry as well as more functional pieces like plates and utensils. 

The Holiday Sale is a great way for new artists to begin selling their items while providing interesting pieces for anyone's budget, according to Deforth. 

“Unless you absolutely hate everything based in clay, you can find something that is fun. And the prices too, you might have something that costs $10 or you might have something that costs $300, and so we've got that range that makes it accessible for everyone as well,” Deforth said.

According to Deforth, the society and the sale give artists local to the Midlands the chance able to grow and thrive. Patwin said the sale is an important way for artists to showcase their clay works, refine their art skills and begin selling their pieces.

“Once you've been doing it a while you kind of have your own voice and your art becomes recognizable,” Patwin said.