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It is the mission of St. Pete Clay to promote the awareness and appreciation of the ceramic arts. This occurs as artists are able to work daily in the studio either as a member or an Artist-in-Residence and are able to display and sell their finished work, which supports the importance of handmade objects.
St. Pete Clay is dedicated to furthering artists' understanding of ceramics by hosting professional artists from around the country for lectures and demonstration.
History of St. Pete Clay
Stan Cowen, Russ Gastafson-Hilton and Charlie Parker founded the St. Petersburg Clay Company in 1996. Russ withdrew from the company in August of 2004 and Sean Manning joined as a partner. In founding the St. Petersburg Clay Company (SPCC) the owners had a vision of creating the premiere ceramic facility in the United States. In the beginning, this meant offering rental spaces, classes, and gallery sales.
In 2000, the St. Petersburg Clay Company, along with Highwater Clays, moved into the Historic Seaboard Coastline Freight Depot. This new relationship and the larger space allowed SPCC to move toward accomplishing their goal of a premiere ceramic facility by providing retail clay supplies, studio space in which artists can work, and an expanded gallery sales area.
St. Petersburg Clay Company expanded their services in 2009 when The Morean Arts Center for Clay moved their clay education program to the Train Station. With the clay education program the Train Station is now able to offer supplies, education, studio space, and gallery sales in one building. This seamless access to clay services is a unique experience offered in few locations in the country; thus allowing SPCC to further the original vision of creating the premiere ceramic facility in the United States.
On October 7, 2010, Adam Yungbluth and Matt Schiemann took over the ownership and management of the company. As former Artists-in-Residence, Adam and Matt were able to make a smooth transition into continuing the vision of the Clay Company. With new ownership and a fresh clay education program SPCC is hoping to continue improving its services and contribution to the arts community.