Building a Creative Arts Studio

by Charlotte Wheat


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In December, 2012 I will graduate from Texas A&M University-Commerce with my BFA in Stuido Arts with an emphasis in Ceramics just a few months shy of my 70th birthday.  I will be moving back home to Oklahoma at that time and I will need to build  a studio so that I may continue my work in ceramics.  The funds from this project will be used to build that studio.

My goal is to build a creative arts center in the far corner of SE Oklahoma, about 9 miles east of the city of Idabel, where people of all ages can come to learn pottery, fiber arts and fine arts. This area of McCurtain County is greatly in need of an arts center. A place where kids, adults and senior citizens can come to learn about different venues of art. This will be an art center for the whole community which will offer instructions in ceramics, fiber arts, and fine arts to all interested members of the community.  We plan on having workshops in each of these venues throughout the year with visiting artists. 

I began doing art in the late 1950's and have continued  ever since.  Over the years I studied with artists like Pat Garey, Ann Mann, Henrietta Wyeth Hurd, Peter Hurd and Andrew Wyeth.  In the 1980's I discovered Fiber Arts and became adept at hand spinning, hand weaving, natural dying, crocheting, knitting and tatting.  After my husband of 36 years passed away in 2002, I decided to go back to college and get my degree in Fine Arts. 

I am currently attending Texas A&M University-Commerce where I will graduate in December 2012 with a BFA in studio arts with a concentration in ceramics.

I will be donating the land on which to build the center, the kilns, and the wheels.  We also have the clay and just about all the tools we need to start the creative arts center.  What we don't have is a building to house the center in.  We are in need of funding for building materials to build the building which will become the creative arts center.  We have the volunteers to perform the labor but we need the funds to purchase the actual building materials. 
We will need concrete for the foundation, lumber for framing,  wiring for electrical, pipes for plumbing, sheetrock, cabinetry, flooring, trim and paint.  And all these things cost money.  The minimum goal I have set will cover the costs of drying in the building.  If we can get more we will be able to put in the plumbing fixtures,  build the cabinets,  built the tables for wedging and working as well as purchase a pug mill for mixing and pugging clay.