Ceramics Studio Expansion
UPDATES AS OF September 15, 2023
The newly expanded Umbrella Ceramics Studio is ready for the Fall Semester!
Ceramics has been growing by leaps and bounds over recent years with classes and resources that serve the full breadth of our community from toddlers to professional artists. Registrations have filled within hours and our studio has been bursting at the seams. We determined that we could better serve our entire community.
The expansion of the ceramics studio will enable The Umbrella to improve facilities and operational efficiencies, increase capacity by 33% to serve more students and artists, create more navigable space and access, and provide a better experience for all participants. Highlights include:
- a larger classroom that will accommodate four additional pottery wheels including an accessible wheel for students and artists of all abilities, as well as a hand-building space
- greater access for independent students, added capacity for adult classes, and new opportunities for youth and teen audiences including an annual internship
- a dedicated space for youth engagement, Scouts, homeschool groups, and celebrations
- a “rotating” studio space for at least one annual ceramic resident artist
- a larger kiln and increased access to the soda kiln, unique among our peer studios
- and increased storage for clay and works in progress!
The final piece we need to successfully reach the finish line is your support.
The Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund recognized our Studio’s tremendous potential and awarded The Umbrella a grant of $76,000 -- roughly 50% of the project cost -- to support the expansion. Those funds are contingent upon our matching the MCFF’s grant with contributions from our community. Thus far, we have received leadership pledges of $25,000 to jumpstart our campaign, leaving $51,000 to be raised.
Will you consider a gift to ensure a vital and robust future for our Studio?
Your investment will help to underwrite the new state-of-the art ceramics suite of classrooms and studios that will enable The Umbrella to realize the increased potential of the program, to serve the demand evident in our community, and further raise the level of the studio overall, making it comparable to the other major studios in the area, and providing equitable access for all.
JOIN US FOR A SPECIAL OPENING CELEBRATION & FUNDRAISER!
Saturday, September 30, 2023 - 3:00 - 5:00pm
The Umbrella Arts Center at 40 Stow Street, Concord, MA
The official ribbon cutting and Studio Opening
And an epic showdown throw-down. Featuring some of your favorite ceramics artists, teachers and staff pitted against each other and the clock in a performance of skill and grit.
Ticketed Guests are invited to join us for light fare and the Reasons to be Cheerful Chillwagon in the back courtyard.
All proceeds benefit The Umbrella’s Ceramics Expansion.
(Donors to the project making gifts of $500 or more will receive up to four complimentary tickets to the event.)
UPDATES AS OF July 3, 2023
Ready for construction to begin!
UPDATES AS OF JUNE 20, 2023
As part of the ceramics expansion project we are planning to add a new ceramics friendly sink to the first floor hallway!
Where now the “out of order” janitor’s closet is will become a sink for use of the artists including those working in clay in the studios across the hall in 109.
UPDATES AS OF JUNE 15th, 2023
We are in talks with Nagog Construction to manage this project and all of the subcontractors. A building permit has been submitted to the town. The following construction timeline is an approximation but remains our goal for this project:
- July 5-7, movers to assist artists in rooms 105 and 106.
- Demolition proposed to begin July 7th -10th
- Tentative completion August 15th. (depending on construction and contractors)
UPDATES AS OF JUNE 12, 2023
In consideration of a number of factors, including classroom uses, construction costs, proximity to water and ceramics facilities, we have decided to amend the project by changing locations of the proposed rooms.
- Create two permanent studios and one “rotating” studio space on the first floor (Rooms 113 and 109) to host at least one annual Ceramic Teaching Artist-in-Residence who will augment and refresh our class offerings teaching staff, offer workshops and talks for the community, and show their work alongside the studio.
- The classroom that was room 109 will now be located in room 112.
All other project plans remain unchanged as outlined in April 23rd post below.
UPDATES AS OF MAY 16, 2023
The Umbrella has secured a $76,000 matching grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council Facilities Fund for our proposed ceramics studio expansion! This grant is a major step in helping to cover the proposed construction costs of the redesign and expansion.
UPDATES AS OF APRIL 23, 2023:
The Umbrella Arts Education Program is excited to announce we are embarking on a significant redesign and expansion of our highly popular Umbrella Ceramics Studio Program.
The program has experienced increased and robust demand since reopening in 2020, with classes reaching maximum capacity within hours of opening registration each semester, and storage space strained for our thriving independent studio community.
The redesign project aims at once to improve facilities, increase capacity to serve more students and artists, create more navigable space and access, and provide a better experience for all participants.
Highlights of the expansion plan include:
- Combine Room 107 with the existing classroom (Room 108) into one expanded classroom space to accommodate four additional pottery wheels, including an accessible wheel for students and artists of all abilities; a hand-building space; additional cubbies for students and artists; and an upgraded sink area. This larger classroom space will become the primary classroom for youth ceramics.
- Combine Rooms 105 and 106 into one new large Ceramics Program space dedicated to the glazing process. The creation of this space will allow for added capacity for adult classes in the main studio.
- Create two permanent studios and one “rotating” studio space on the first floor (Rooms 112 and 113) to host at least one annual Ceramic Teaching Artist-in-Residence who will augment and refresh our class offerings teaching staff, offer workshops and talks for the community, and show their work alongside the studio.
The Umbrella is investigating contractors and funding options, with the goal to begin construction on July 1 with a completion date of August 15, 2023. Additional community updates and input opportunities will be shared on TheUmbrellaArts.org in the months ahead. We encourage interested folks to be sure to sign up for our newsletter to receive updates!
Photograph by David Rosen