The community vision of the Taos Ceramics Center | Gallery guide
When Taos Clay in El Prado closed, a core group of local artists found themselves without a common studio and without a supplier of the materials needed for their crafts. Fortunately, indeed, there has been a tendency to quickly fill the void.
In August 2020, Jules and Georgia Epstein opened the doors to the Taos Ceramics Center, located at 114 Este Es Road in the former Taos Lighting Center building.
“Our vision is one of community involvement and support, an educational resource for all ages, a ceramics supply retail store and an interdisciplinary gallery showcasing some of the best in ceramics and visual arts” , noted the Epsteins.
The building’s transformation into a mecca for ceramic artists and students was fortuitous, the couple said. The former showroom space was easily converted into a gallery for exhibitions and art sales – lighting tracks already in place – and is now a staple of the exhibition circuit, with shows changing every both months.
Offices and warehouses were just as easily transformed into a spacious studio with separate glazing and sales rooms.
“The conversion happened as if it had to happen,” Mr. Epstein said. “Now it’s a playful and creative space,” featuring expansive outdoor spaces for their kiln yard with electric raku, propane, and three small gas kilns. “We are working on adding a small wood-fired oven, as well as an outdoor classroom which will provide greater overall studio flexibility.”
As a cooperative, TCC memberships are available on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. There’s also a Flex Pass: three one-hour studio segments purchased in blocks of six or twelve sessions. With each option you receive an access code to log into the TCC Planner where available space and time slots can be viewed and booked.
Visitors are welcome to practice their craft or learn something new, with flexible passes or a day pass. Lessons – featuring some of the best instructors in the area – are available; some may be better suited to those with experience, but there are plenty of opportunities for beginners as well, so be sure to check the online schedule and reserve your spot.
TCC also has a retail partnership with New Mexico Clay in Albuquerque, with low to high fire clays, tools, underglazes, glazes and raw materials available for purchase. “This is an important part of TCC because we are now the only outlet for supplies from northern New Mexico to southern Colorado,” Mr. Epstein said.
With everything TCC already has to offer, be on the lookout for even more exciting news from them in the months to come.
“We have applied for 501(c)(3) status and hope to receive it this summer. [of 2022]”, explained Epstein. “As a nonprofit organization, we will be able to extend our reach to our educational partners in public and charter schools, by offering grants and scholarships, and with a long-term goal of ‘open an art school.’
It’s a move that would make sense for Taos, and not just because of its rich history as a premier art colony. The community as a whole remains invested in nurturing and growing the region’s unique creative energy for future generations, and TCC will be a major player in making that happen.
Ms. Epstein, who took classes six years ago at the University of New Mexico – Taos and discovered a passion and affinity for clay, also sees the Taos Ceramics Center as a greater advantage. immediately to its users.
“Working with clay is a very meditative process,” she said. “If you can think of it; if you can dream it; you can build it with clay.
Taos Ceramics Center is located at 114 Este Es Road, Taos. For more information, please call (575) 758-2580, or visit taosceramics.com.