A six-week session of “Clay After School” art classes will be offered this semester for children ages 8 and up at The Artery Studio, 214 Williams Avenue.


A six-week session of “Clay After School” art classes will be offered this semester for children ages 8 and up at The Artery Studio, 214 Williams Avenue.



Classes will be offered on Thursday afternoons, from 3:30 until 5 p.m. The session begins Feb. 27, and runs for six weeks, with a break during the week of Port St. Joe public schools' spring break. Children may be dropped off up to 15 minutes early to enjoy social time and a snack before class begins.



The cost for the classes is $90 for the six-week session. Each session will be different, with different projects, and all materials and firing are included. A 10 percent family discount for members of the same household is available. Additionally, a limited number of full and partial scholarships are available, due to the generous contributions of local arts enthusiasts and Taste of the Coast funds.



The instructor for the class is Leslie Wentzell, an accomplished Port St. Joe artist who works primarily in clay, and is the owner of The Artery Studio.



“There are many in this community that echo my belief that the arts has much to offer young people. Developing coordination, concentration, and self-esteem are just a few of the benefits,” said. “This community has responded generously to help offer this activity to kids who might not be able to afford the tuition. There are no complicated or intrusive forms – just an interested and eager child and the expressed need.”



The students will learn many different kinds of techniques in the classes, such as the pinch method, coiling, slab work. Both sculptural and functional pottery will be explored. While no prior clay experience is necessary. More challenging work will be offered to children with previous experience.



Wentzell enjoys sharing her love of art with young people, and has previously taught clay and/or art classes for the Gulf Alliance for Local Arts (GALA), the Summer Youth Leadership Program operated by CareerSource Gulf Coast, as well as at the Visual Arts Center in Panama City. She has been an Artist-In-Residence at Port St. Joe Junior/Senior High School and at Franklin County Elementary School through a program offered by Very Special Arts–Florida (VSA-Florida). “While teaching technique is very important with clay, I try to incorporate broader art concepts into all of my teaching.”



Registration for the classes may be done at The Artery, which is open Wednesday and Friday afternoons, and Saturdays, or on its website (www.ArteryStudio.com). More information is available by calling The Artery at 227-5741.