By Ann Marie Cooper
In the northwest corner of Washington State, a significant number of potters and clay artists live in Bellingham and the surrounding county of Whatcom. Unfortunately, for many years, they were missing the sense of community that helps artists thrive, as they worked away in their isolated studios. In 2014, Ann Marie Cooper (Kulshan Clayworks), Megan and Jeremy Noet (Blue Water Pottery) decided to do something about that: a Facebook group was born, under Megan Noet’s cleverly penned acronym Whatcom Artists of Clay & Kiln (WACK). Online discussions lead to monthly meetings, non-profit status and a booming membership exceeding 40 members. WACK is open to clay enthusiasts of all skill levels, who reside in Whatcom County and share the group’s mission “to promote clay culture in Whatcom County.”
To make the public aware of the wealth of ceramic artists in their midst, members of WACK have performed several “muggings” coordinated with local businesses where patrons will delight in and use surprise mug gifts—tagged with the organization’s name and “you’ve been mugged by [artist].” In addition to muggings, WACK held their first Empty Bowls event in April of 2015.
WACK has big plans for the future, as the group continues to root and blossom. On March 5th, 2016, they’ll host their first “Clay Extravaganza,” an all-day event intended to further awareness and appreciation of the ceramic arts. The event will feature vendor booths, artist demonstrations, Clay Olympics, public hands-on area, and an educational center giving a brief lesson in Clay 101. WACK is also working on plans to build a community wood-kiln, for which a Kickstarter will be launched in the spring. For more info about WACK visit:www.whatcomartistsofclayandkiln.org.
Board of Directors:
Director of Awesomeness(President)~ Ann Marie Cooper
Vice Director of Awesomeness (Vice President)~ Megan Noet
Purser(Treasurer)~ Sunny Hill
Scribe (Secretary)~ Rob Beishline
Tie-Breaker~ Jeremy Noet
If you are interested in joining WACK, please email us for information:firstname.lastname@example.org or download the file below and mail it to our Purser:
WACK Downloadable Membership File Below…