It Takes a Village (of 5,000 More Square Feet)

New classroom space at The Village Potters will allow the gallery and education center to better serve the Asheville clay community. Photo courtesy of The Village Potters.
New classroom space at The Village Potters will allow the gallery and education center to better serve the Asheville clay community. Photo courtesy of The Village Potters.

The Village Potters recently completed a project that expands the gallery, education center, and clay distributor’s River Arts District location by 5,000 square feet. Located in Suite 132 of Riverview Station, the new space hosts The TVP Clay Company, resident artist working studios, incubator spaces for ceramics students, and a small machine shop for building studio shelving and performing equipment repair.

Sarah Wells Rolland, The Village Potters co-founder and resident artist, says that the expansion allows the business to meet its increasing demand for ceramics education. “We’ve had students from all over the world who have come to town, discovered what we were doing, and planned to move here and study with us,” Rolland says. “We wanted to occupy this space and create something that offers what they’re asking for.”

Students in The Village Potters’ Independent Study and Mentoring Program will have six new studios in the expansion to practice their craft, while a new gallery space called The Egg will provide display and sale space for their work. “We teach our students not only how to develop pottery skills and a unique body of work, but how to succeed in the business of the arts,” emphasizes Rolland.

More courses will also be available for local hobbyists, with a continued emphasis on accessibility and small class sizes. “One of our goals was to keep this education really affordable,” Rolland says. “We were very intentional with the budget for the expansion — we rolled up our sleeves and painted the walls ourselves.”

The Village Potters is located at 191 Lyman Street, Asheville. Call 828-253-2424 or visit www.thevillagepotters.com for more info.

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