Hidden Gems of CLT: Clayworks

Watch a new episode of Hidden Gems of Charlotte with Alexandra Elich each Thursday on WCCB News Rising.

CHARLOTTE, NC — What are you missing in your favorite neighborhood? WCCB Charlotte’s Alexandra Elich explores tucked away spots, historic businesses, and secret gardens in the middle of our bustling city.

On this week’s Hidden Gems of Charlotte, Alex visits Clayworks.

Clayworks is a place where everyone is welcome to express themselves.

“We are so in demand right now and a lot of it has to do with our attitude towards clay and our open arms,” says studio manager  Brett Beasley.

No matter what stage you’re at the community nonprofit arts organization focuses on helping the Charlotte community know about clay. it started 20 years ago and it’s been at the location on Monroe Road for eight years. Their focus is outreach. Helping economically disadvantaged children, seniors, at-risk LGBTQ youth, and developmentally disabled people experience the magic of clay.

  “The arts or so undervalued anywhere from high political to socially, they’re just undervalued. And we really want to have the opportunity for anybody to participate in the arts and Clay is just the gooiest squishy for material to play with,” says Beasley.

The artist starting a roofer in Florida looking for a change.

“ I was hot, sweaty and tired and needed to do something for fun. And I was like oh, I remember I used to make pots in high school and that was really fun,” says Beasley.

Beasley went to grad school in North Carolina owning his own business for two years before coming to Clayworks.

“For me personally if that challenge of transforming some valuable blob into something that communicates something,” said Beasley.

Clayworks is always looking for volunteers. If you want to sign up for a class or get involved click HERE.