As a PDX Pop-Up, this is the first time Ceramics NW has attempted an actual gallery instead of showcasing ceramics through the Oregon Potters Association. “The past two years left many of our members with few to no in-person group sales events, and this opportunity seemed like a great way to restart with a new concept,” says Connie Cheifetz, OPA Membership Outreach. In addition to having the first opportunity to sell their work in the Downtown area, the OPA took it to the next level by offering new and long-standing members of the organization the opportunity to manage this new pop-up jointly.
It doesn’t take an astronaut to walk into Ceramics NW and tell that all the beautifully intricate pieces are handmade. Most of the artists create their works at home and or community studios. “We make everything from functional everyday tableware, specialty home decors like lamps, vases, and planters to sculptures and art pieces that stretch the imagination and the bounds of what clay and glaze can do. We are all caught up in the magic of using fire to turn mud into something more permanent.” What a beautiful way to create something where heart and soul are interwoven into it.
Did you know that the Oregon Potters Association boasts 350+ members in Oregon and the SW Washington area? “We welcome any ceramic artist, no matter where they are on their clay path, from beginner to seasoned professional.” Not only do the members make beautiful pieces, but they also give back by teaching Clay in Education that links OPA teachers to K-12 schools in an attempt to encourage children to explore making art with clay. How cool is that?
COVID impacted OPA by some of its members losing access to their community studios. Other members had to cancel art sales and eventually loss of venues where their work was often sold. “Our leadership pivoted from in-person planning meetings to online meetings, which led to planning an online sales event. And our members did what they do best. They helped each other learn a new way of doing business.”
In the future, the OPA and Ceramics NW would like to be part of organizations and or opportunities for mentoring/networking programs that “help new entrepreneurs learn how to navigate city regulations, connect to low-interest loans and landlords dedicated to growing a better city, not just a bigger wallet.”
Whether you want to stop in and purchase a fabulous gift for your loved ones before Christmas or if you like to create a community with OPA and Ceramics NW, stop by their location!
Ceramics NW: 300 SW Yamhill
Open: November 16, 2021 – December 31, 2021. Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day).
>>>FREE PARKING in SmartPark Parking Garages on Sundays leading up to the Christmas Holiday (November 28, Dec 5, Dec 12, + Dec 19th) Sidewalk Ambassadors will be passing out parking validation stickers between noon – 5 PM. The location of the Sidewalk Ambassadors is tentatively scheduled at Directors Park. These are ONLY for the SmartPark Parking Garages.
The Oregon Potters Association is a 501c-3 organization ( no owner)
Four members worked with a consultant to craft our proposal.
About 45 members are involved in staffing the Pop Up Gallery, but these members are most involved in its day to day running:
Connie Cheifetz, Pop Up workshifts manager (OPA Membership Outreach)
Deb Moen, Pop Up Sales system coordinator
Aubrey Sloane, Pop Up budget manager (OPA Vice President)
Stefanie Nagorka, Clay in Ed Mug fundraiser (OPA Grants & Sponsorships Co-Chair)
Meghan Radick, Pop Up bookkeeper