Artshack Brooklyn is a registered 501 c(3) organization. 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.
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, Maker of things. Originally from Germany, she studied Product Design at Art Center in Switzerland and Los Angeles and completed her MDes in Milan, Italy. She moved to Brooklyn in 1999 because she fell in love with her now husband and father of two daughters on the first day of her NYC trip. As product designer she has worked on high end home accessories and bathroom fixtures but her personal work stands very much in contrast to the machined and polished design world. It is experimental playful and conceptual. In 2009 she founded a design after school program (Kinder Design Factory) offering a space for kids to invent and make functional objects. In 2011 McKendree and Dany decided to join art and design forces as ArtshackBrooklyn.
Ash Donnelly- Studio Manager: 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.
Dan Mandelbaum- Tech, Consulting and Creative is a Brooklyn based artist who graduated from Pratt Institute in 2016. Dan loads and fixes our kilns and is an integral part of Artshack. His focus is in ceramic sculpture, but media includes painting, drawing, stone carving and animation. He is interested in portraying humor in art.
Laura Protzel- Director of Kids and Community Programs is a kid in a grown up's body. She was born and raised in Manhattan; holds an MFA from SVA and is an artist. She works in Family Programs at the Whitney Museum. She loves dogs. "Funniest teacher I ever had"- Artshack after school student. www.lauraprotzel.com
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.
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!
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
Ivan Samuels is a potter and teacher that creates functional wheel thrown clay vessels. He has been committed to the clay medium for fourteen years studying ceramics in Boston and New York City. His love for nature and earthy utilitarian pottery has helped mold his vision in ceramics. His mission is to share the beauty and endless possibilities of the clay medium and how it can bring joy, clarity, and freedom to the human spirit.
Artshack's Board of Directors
EMMA LOUISE is an Brooklyn based Artist and Educator whose focus is in ceramics. Since graduating from Pratt Institute in 2014, she has worked as a ceramics and art instructor to both adults and children as well as in production and fabrication for potters and ceramic artists within the New York area. This led her to travel to work at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina in the summer of 2016, where she assisted in their clay studio. While she has experience in building clay sculpture, her recent studio practice has been primarily focused on producing functional pottery thrown on the wheel. When not in the studio, Emma enjoys collecting coats, singing harmonies and cracking jokes.