Spruill Center for the Arts- It is Worth the Trip

by R Long
May 04, 2017

“I do pottery. I love it. It’s very relaxing; it takes me to another planet.” –  Eva Herzigova

The instructors at Spruill Center want you to get your hands dirty! Sometimes it just feels good. Using your hands to mold clay is great for senior entertainment and is very relaxing. You just think about the clay you are working with. All other thoughts melt away. It is just you and your art, well maybe we can not call it art but if you do not give up, eventually, it will be. After learning the techniques, you must practice, practice, practice. There is no telling what you can create.

Spruill Center for the Arts

The Spruill Center for the Arts is a great starting point. The education center is located at 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road in Atlanta. They have classes for everyone. Some are for every age and some are just for adults. Many of their students are retired seniors over the age of 50 who enjoy the social aspect of taking art classes as well as the mental stimulation of creating and learning about art.

Mission: “Established in 1975, the Spruill Center for the Arts in Dunwoody is a private, non-profit organization, whose mission is to foster understanding and appreciation of the visual arts, by offering an extensive and diverse program of classes, a professional artist exhibition series, and outreach programs for seniors, youth, and audiences with special needs.”

They began as a group of women who wanted to learn painting and met in the Dunwoody Methodist Church. Soon they outgrew that facility. They moved to a second location but soon outgrew that facility as well. The Spruill Family donated five acres and a new home was found as well as a new name. Since 1993 it has been known as the Spruill Center for the Arts. Those in the Atlanta area know it as a premier arts facility. With the aid of the community and its patrons, it will be here for a long time.

Play with Clay

clay throwing

The clay classes are hand building and wheel throwing. Beginners are introduced to basic techniques and applications of clay. The classes and workshops are designed with all skill levels in mind. Wheel classes concentrate on forming pottery using the potter’s wheel. The clay is formed as the wheel circulates as the potter manipulates the clay with his hands.

Hand building concentrates on making pottery without the wheel. There are 3 main different fundamental methods of using clay. The pinch method is when the clay is formed in your hands and then “pinched” into the desired shape. The coil method is exactly what it sounds like. Clay is rolled into coils and then put together to form an object. The seams are forced together as the item is completed. For the method of slab, clay slabs are formed and made into an object of your choice.

Whatever method is used, it is fun and exciting. This type of senior entertainment will leave you satisfied when you complete your final art project. You can never tell where you will go from there. Classes are available at the Spruill Center for the Arts. The fee is $220 which includes the actual class as well as a lab fee for your supplies. However, you will need to purchase personal tools for the wheel class. The class instructor will be able to supply these items for an additional $10.

There are many classes on “Wheel” and “Hand Building.” You will learn basic pottery techniques as you work with the clay. And if you do not like your final product, it is easy to reuse the clay and start over.

Check out their Winter 2023 Class Schedule

The Center is a tax-free organization and will welcome all new members as well as volunteers. If you are interested in finding out more about this group of volunteers, please email spruillgallery@gmail.com. There are so many places to get free or close to free art classes and it is worth the effort.

Read more at GuideForSeniors.com for all things senior.

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