Learn More & Have Fun at Pocosin Arts!

Published 10:55 am Thursday, January 4, 2018

Pocosin Arts, located in Columbia, NC, is a center for arts and crafts serving Tyrrell and surrounding counties. The center provides fun, hands-on learning opportunities for students of all ages in a variety craft forms including metalworking, pottery, woodworking, and clay. Learning to use hand-tools and materials in traditional craft-based programs gives students the foundation to discover and create in new ways.

In one recent program, four students from Tyrrell County High School learned to enamel, an ancient metalworking technique used in jewelry. Applying powdered glass to the surface of copper or other metals and then firing at temperatures of 1450 degrees and higher results in brilliant and colorful designs.  The students used their new skills to design and create jewelry and sculpture to enter a competitive, juried, Online Student Exhibition. Sponsored by The Enamelist Society, the exhibition drew student entries from across the U.S. and internationally. The students were led by Pocosin Resident Artist Caitlin McDonald who said, “It was exciting to watch, as day-by-day, each student pushed themselves and learned these challenging techniques.”

Through programs like this and year-round programming for youth and adults, Pocosin’s Resident Artists share their skill in creativity and art.

Originally from Indiana, Pocosin Resident Gabrielle Graber said, “I’ve taught in the Art After School Program and Adult classes at Pocosin Arts. Each student brings something vibrant to the classroom.  For example, this fall I took the kids outside to collect leaves, sticks, grass, and seeds combined with drawing to create narrative works of art. Everyone created truly unique arrangements.”

Approximately half the programs at Pocosin Arts are devoted to local youth. Every Tuesday afternoon throughout the school year students from 5 to 18 years old learn to hand-build with clay and think creatively in Art After School. They learn about tools and techniques while constructing their projects. They learn about the things that make their community and the “Pocosins” a special place. The next session of Art After School begins January 9, 2018.

During the summer, weekly Summer Art Camps run from mid-June to mid-August.  Each week offers students a new instructor and a new art form to learn. 2017’s Summer Art Camp boasted classes in metalwork, painting & drawing, clay, environmental collage, scientific investigation, and music. Summer Art Camp 2018 begins June 18 to August 10.

Mark Arnold, a Pocosin Resident and ceramics artist from Pittsburg, said, “I am continually impressed with the students that come through the classes at Pocosin Arts. To see kids learn and develop new skills that build confidence is an exciting benefit of being an instructor. These skills will help them explore and develop their creative side and will continue to play a part in their future.”

Pocosin’s traditional craft-based programs are the kind of opportunities you would expect to find in much larger cities. Grable Foundation support makes Pocosin’s youth programming possible. Pocosin’s goal is for all interested students to be able to participate.  Scholarships are available. Go online to register at www.pocosinarts.org/youth or call the office at (252) 796-2787.