Miami Science Museum’s Exhibit Designer and Tour Manager James Herring also happens to be a skilled ceramic artist, practicing his craft for over 35 years. In addition to his exhibit design work at the Museum, he serves as the president of the Ceramic League of Miami, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating members and the general public in all aspects of ceramics. Recently, James was successful in winning a Knight Arts Challenge Grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, to expand the facilities and programs of the Ceramic League.
The League currently offers classes, lectures and workshops to members as well as nonmembers. The facility is already equipped with studios, wheels, a slab roller, an extruder, electric and gas kilns, including two raku kilns, and a fully stocked glaze formulation area.
The grant will further strengthen the ceramic arts in South Florida by providing “complete facilities for ceramics enthusiasts and professionals,” said James. The grant will equip the center with a new custom-built ‘soda kiln’, and to host a series of workshops, lectures and classes to raise public awareness about the broad appeal and varied styles of the ceramic arts, and introduce students and young artists to the possibilities of working with clay.
“The thing about clay is that it’s immediate. You don’t need tools. You can just use your hands and it becomes an extension of yourself,” said James.
A Miami native, James first started studying ceramics in high school and eventually earned a BFA in Visual Arts from Florida International University with an emphasis on ceramics. He was an artist in residence at the Penland School in North Carolina for several years before returning to Miami to work as the Visual Arts Director for Ground Level, an alternative gallery at Art Center South Florida on Miami Beach.
For more information about the Ceramic League of Miami, visit: http://ceramicleaguemiami.org