Help support the Toronto Potters set up a new studio

A Home after 40 years!

Imagine a non-profit arts association which provides its members with community, networking, education and public representation opportunities – all without a physical space – for 4 decades! No more! In October of 2018, Toronto Potters is setting up a studio in Artscape Youngplace, a clay-hub in the heart of downtown Toronto!

This 1000 sq. ft. space will offer individual artists the opportunity to focus on their work. It will allow Toronto Potters to host artists’ workshops, presentations and engage with the local community through classes and programming.

What We Need:

We are fundraising $15,000 to cover the studio start-up expenses. Our volunteers are collecting donations of tools and materials, but we need financial support to assist with the expenses of additional equipment and skilled trade services needed to set up the studio, first and last month rent deposit and materials to begin running classes. With your generosity, once the studio is up and running, Toronto Potters will be able to sustain this endeavour by generating income from studio memberships, workshops and classes.

The budget:

$7000 rent (first and last month deposit)
$750 Shelving
$750 Worktables
$2500 Electrician, Plumbing & Carpenter services
$1250 Kiln rewiring to 208volt
$500 Glazes for Classes
$500 Clay for Classes
$150 Small Tools for Classes
$800 Indiegogo Fee
$800 Transaction processing fees

TOTAL: $15,000

Find out more here: www.indiegogo.com/projects/toronto-potters-new-studio#/  and here: torontopotters.com

Call to Action by Ayumi Horie and Tess Mattern

In the wake of #metoo in ceramics, @potsinaction encourages every ceramics and craft organization to adopt and establish clear and unambiguous policies regarding inclusivity, diversity, and safety. It’s high time that leaders and educators in our field commit to more actively creating environments that are welcoming and safe to all, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, culture, disabilities, religion, age and socioeconomic status. While we have made progress, more work is needed. Ceramic machismo and its perniciousness within clay culture has been tolerated for far too long.

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Don’t assume that your programming is without bias or that you’ve done all you can do. Instead, be active in the education of your trustees, staff, and writers about the damage done from bias, prejudice, microaggressions, harassment, and assault. Hire staff and elect trustees who mirror the breadth of diversity in this country. We understand that organizations are slow-moving ships and that it takes time to craft statements that reflect the core values and uniqueness of organizations. Much of the important work done by art orgs happen outside the realm of social media, but posting publicly on this issue matters deeply. While an overnight response is not expected, this is a call to action to get the ship turning on all platforms.
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If you are part of an organization, institution, or school, speak up! Demand transparency and clarity about what steps they are taking to be more inclusive, diverse, and safe for those who don’t have equal privileges. Victims and survivors need practical tools and support for where to go when an incidence takes place. For those of you who have reposted about #metoo in ceramics – thank you! Now take the next step to compose your own statement or tell your #metoo story as a way to crack open the field and let in the light. If you have been part of this field, support survivors of sexual harassment by believing them and speaking out to change institutional policies.
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Image of Viola Frey, a powerhouse woman who worked within the male-dominated California expressionist ceramics movement of the 1960s.
Viola Frey (1933 – 2004) is not defined by her obstacles. She was internationally known and revered during her lifetime and her monumental figures have made a profound mark on the art world internationally. However, in her 1995 @archivesamerart oral history transcript, she recounts the many ways she worked at a “double disadvantage.” She faced obstacles her male counterparts were unburdened by, including securing studio space, having her work dismissed or derided, and feeling isolated as a woman operating outside the “macho thing.” In the classroom, she says, “The feminist-type art had no chance at all.” Excerpts from her oral history:
VIOLA FREY: Yeah. And it sort of did dominate. Sometimes the faculty even would just attack in such a gross way that the student would be weeping, they’d be so upset at the way they were treated. It was pretty ugly.
PAUL KARLSTROM: This is male faculty?
VIOLA FREY: Yes. They could not. . . . They would just say, “I cannot critique or look at a work like this.” A #metoo message from the past. Photo by Michael Macor. — @ayumihorie and @tessmattern