About Artshack

At 1131 Bedford Ave, we offer everything you can imagine relating to ceramics: hand building, wheel throwing, glazing, plaster mold making and slipcasting.

We believe in strengthening kids' critical-thinking abilities. At Artshack, kids learn that the design process, just like many things in life, is rarely a smooth succession of steps. The steps often overlap and blur, and their order is sometimes reversed—it's a creative, fluid way of working that is adapted to each individual situation. Although our students create beautiful lasting pieces, our focus is on skills rather than finished products.

At our mixed media space at 384 Waverly Ave, kids get to paint and draw and explore techniques like wool felting, weaving, sewing, silkscreening and papermaking.

The Founders

McKendree Key is a professional artist with over 15 years of teaching experience.  She is a native New Yorker and taught art with Studio in a School for 7 years. She has taught workshops at Socrates Sculpture Park ,  P.S.1, and The Whitney Museum of American Art. She taught art education at Pratt Institute for 3 years. She has exhibited her work at P.S.1, The Sculpture Center, CUE Art Foundation, The Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Socrates Sculpture Park, and The Brooklyn Museum, among other venues. 
In 2008 she founded The ArtShack, and began working with Dany in 2011.

Dany Rose is a product designer and maker of things. Originally from Germany, she moved to Brooklyn in 1999, after completing her Masters in Milan, Italy. Before that she studied and worked in Los Angeles, and Montreux, Switzerland. As product designer she has worked on high end home accessories and bathroom fixtures (Kohler, Ann Sacks). Her personal work stands very much in contrast to that machined and polished design world. It is experimental and conceptual. Working with kids and young adults has always been part of her life and education.

 

Instructors:

 

Ash Donnelly My name is Ash. I received my BFA in Art and Design Education from Pratt Institute where I discovered my driven passion for ceramics. I believe in approaching teaching as a form of social engagement, and hope to empower people to find their own language through visual mediums. Clay has always seemed so special to me because of its tactile nature, and I love to see the endless ways that others can express themselves through the process of making. Beyond my career as an artist and teacher, I am a dog lover, an avid hiker, and a musician.

 

Lindsey Schneider is a potter whose line of functional works, Little Bear Pots, draws inspiration from the industrial landscape of Red Hook, Brooklyn--not-quite-parallel lines, layered geometric patterns, stacked rectangles and squares, black and white. Outside of the studio, she's also a documentary filmmaker.

 

Melodie Stancato is an art educator, musician and tarot reader. As a visual artist she works mostly in portraiture - exploring the boundaries between different subjectivities through painted, drawn, or collaged depictions of the people whom she is close to. Melodie performs in a band called Swoon Lake, and has been making show posters and album art for her different musical projects over the last year. Her latest visual project is creating her own hand-drawn tarot deck. 

Alayna Wiley is a ceramicist and an art educator with a passion for cultivating self knowledge through creative expression. As a Studio Assistant at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2013-present) she identifies artistic concepts from art objects in the galleries and helps to make them accessible inspiration sources for art creation in the studio. In her own artistic practice Alayna has explored the behaviors of a range of media including glass, paper, textiles, wood, pigment, film and dance. Focusing on ceramics for the past seven years she deepened her practice at craft schools across the nation including, Oxbow School of Art, Haystack Mountain School of Craft, Penland School or Craft, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. She welcomes you to center yourself as you center the clay!

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Leigh Forsstrom  Since graduating from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in textile design in 2007, I have designed jacquard fabrics at a silk mill in India, couture rugs for Martha Stewart, and embroidered and printed textiles for old school fabric houses in New York. In 2011, I began taking ceramics classes, and it has been the focus of my personal studio practice ever since. I design and produce a small line of functional ceramics, and I exhibit one-of-a-kind ceramics series at special events. My favorite part of teaching at Artshack is having a job where my responsibility is to make everyone feel comfortable and capable.

 
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I'm Zena Verda Pesta, maker of pottery, quilts, supper, grower of food, nurturer of partnerships, roller dancer, and participant in all types of learning environments.  I'm 33, live & work in Brooklyn, NY. I am the first to graduate college in my family, let alone go out and get myself a masters degree (in system & service design).  I've been working with the dirt for more than 10 years now! I work with the earth!  

www.soulmagical.com

Stefanie Bessman is a studio potter who began her ceramic practice in 2012. She utilizes her previous training in Textile and Surface Design to create functional hand-painted goods that are often inspired by her extensive travels. Nothing makes her morning brighter than drinking a warm cup of tea from her own hand-crafted mug. In class, Stef will gently assist you in finding your way with clay in a relaxed and informative environment.