ArtintheCity Profile for

Biography/ History : MOVING CLAY & FRIENDS
MOVING CLAY & FRIENDS was established in 1996 as a self-help and support group by nine ceramic artists but now includes artists working in all media and currently has around thirty five members.

MOVING CLAY & FRIENDS can now mount exhibitions and events covering a wide variety of media and techniques.

Through sponsorship MOVING CLAY & FRIENDS has secured a modular exhibition stand and has the ability and equipment necessary to set up a self-sufficient exhibition of members work and also to provide a variety of accompanying demonstrations and hands-on workshops.

MOVING CLAY & FRIENDS has participated in various festivals and artistic events including: Macclesfield in May Week; Macclesfield Leisure Centre; Open Eye Exhibition, Knutsford Civic Centre: The National Pottery & Ceramic Festival, Hatfield House, Hertfordshire; The Southern Ceramic & Pottery Show, Farnham Maltings, Surrey; Upfront Gallery, Penrith, Cumbria.

One of MOVING CLAY & FRIENDS' most exciting achievements was the creation of the Macclesfield Art Shop in 1998. Working closely with Macclesfield Borough Council and the Macclesfield Partnership (a group of local business people), the group mounted a successful three month long exhibition in an empty showroom in the town shopping centre. In order for the event to become a reality it was necessary to obtain various forms of sponsorship; to assist with the refurbishment of the premises; to organise publicity; to generate awareness of the event within the community and to provide materials for demonstrations and workshops. MOVING CLAY & FRIENDS members staffed the exhibition and provided a programme of workshops and daily demonstrations. Over 16,000 people visited the exhibition and spontaneously expressed their support, interest and pleasure that this event was happening in their community. The number of visitors validated the event.

The Art Shop expressed one of the main objectives of MOVING CLAY & FRIENDS, to establish a place for the arts within the community by taking art work out into those places which are familiar to most people and where most people feel at ease. By staffing the exhibitions artists are able to talk to visitors about their work and hopefully increase public awareness, understanding and encourage participation in art activities. This is by no means a one-way communication, artists thrive on the exchange of ideas and benefit greatly from public response to their work.


Julie Hamer


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