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Clayscapes Gallery does more than display

Clayscapes blends together the experience of a gallery, studio and classroom.

A simple material pulled from the earth -- clay. That’s what it’s all about at Clayscapes. Some galleries focus on paintings, others on sculptures. But at Clayscapes Pottery, the theme of the work centers around using your hands to mold, shape, and create a piece of art. Don’t be frightened by its warehouse-like look, or its off-the-beaten-path location. Clayscapes is a gallery for anyone who appreciates great works, created from raw, native materials.

"It makes it passionate for us to help artists develop to their potential, to what they want to do."
- Owner Kim Seymour

But this thriving institution is far more than an art gallery. Kim Seymour, one of the owners, wants the space to be a versatile as the art of pottery.

The building acts as a clay distributor, a school for those interested in taking classes, and a studio for already established artists. The gallery caters to all levels of artists or even those with just a passing interest in the art. So whether clay is a weekend hobby or something to make a living at, everyone is welcome.

“It makes it passionate for us to help artists develop to their potential, to what they want to do,” Seymour said. “That’s really what we’re excited about.”

On the distribution end, they have a warehouse that sells and ships out clay in large quantities. In fact, Clayscapes provides the clay for much of the Northeast United States. Locally, they provide all of the clay used by the Syracuse City School District to be used in art and pottery classes. With boxes up to the ceiling, Clayscapes is currently expanding, making the warehouse one of the biggest distributors in the country.

The current collection on display at the gallery contains work from Millie St. John, one of the teachers at Clayscapes. Her art is based on stones and rocks, and, unlike some artists, all of her work contains some form of handmade pottery. Even pieces that appear to be paintings have incorporated three-dimensional elements with clay.

The gallery also highlights works created by Canadian Bill Reddick. The world-famous artist's works can be seen in galleries throughout Canada, and in China. Because of its large distribution area, Clayscapes provided some of the clay that Reddick used in some of his most famous pieces, including the Official State Dinnerware of Canada, and other works found at the gallery.

One of the most interesting parts of Clayscapes is its school, a place to learn, and practice the art of pottery. Part of the school is available for practicing artists to use as studio space.

Clayscapes Pottery is located at 1003 West Fayette St. in Syracuse, and is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Items for Sale in Gallery*

I wish owner Kim the Best of Luck selling $25 coffee mugs and japanese style teacups for the same when she is too busy counting the number of grapes people take at a reception. If I were representing a business I would hardly want to be seen sucking down a good share of red wine! My advice: practice a little Prohibition and give people a chance to get interested in signing up for a pottery class. It's probably cheaper than SU.

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