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Local artist molds minds in Huntington Museum clay classes

By CODI MOHR
On February 19, 2013

Aspiring and current artists can enhance their skills through spring classes offered at the Huntington Museum of Art. Classes offered include a wide range of subjects such as clay, photography and watercolor.

Kathleen Kneafsey, local artist and teacher, serves as HMAs artist in residence. Since 2000, she has overseen the museums clay classes, featured clay artists and presentations by Walter Gropius Master Artists.

This is a good time of year for museum because its spring, and its fun, Kneafsey said, Its nice to just get up here and be somewhere.

Kneafsey, who grew up in the Huntington area and has attended and taught classes at Marshall University, said she draws inspiration from her family and the prominence of nature in her childhood. She originally decided to become an artist at an early age after first creating raku, a Japanese technique in which a still-hot piece of pottery combines with combustible objects and ignites.

Growing up here had a huge influence on me, Kneafsey said. We were outside climbing trees, skinning our knees, getting dirty, playing, imagining things and I just think it was a fantastic way to grow up.

As a mother of three, Kneafsey said she rarely has time to create artwork. She instead uses her talent to further the work of others. Not only does she teach multiple classes within a week to students of all ages and skill levels, but she also contributes her voice to Marshalls School of Art and Design.

As a judge of the 27th annual Student Juried Exhibition presented in Birke Art Gallery last month, Kneafsey selected prize-winning pieces by university students. She complimented the students use of multiple media.

I love the fact that I saw kids doing lots of different things, Kneafsey said. I was really impressed.

During a pottery class for beginners, Kneafsey gave tips to her students for successfully creating clay pieces.

Do it over and over, and when you think its done, do it 10 more times, Kneafsey said.

Kneafsey conducts classes throughout the week with an emphasis on pottery while the HMA offers classes in various media, Monday through Thursday and Sunday.

Codi Mohr can be contacted at mohr13@marshall.edu.

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