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KC Clay Guild Board of Directors 2020-2021

Josh Wood, President

1) Why are you interested in serving on the KC Clay Guild Board?

I am very passionate about ceramic art and KCCG.  I believe in making art available to Waldo and the greater KC Metro area, and I believe that KCCG provides an excellent venue to do just that.  The Guild has provided an excellent opportunity for area artists and I want to do my part to see it continue to thrive, improve, and grow. 

2) Describe your skills, experience, and interests and how you might put it to use as a KC Clay Guild Board Member.

I have been a member for 12 years and on the Board, as Vice-President for 4 years, and have been President for the past two. I have been working with clay since 1998.

I am a Fleet Manager for a local municipality and in this roll manage employees, develop budgets, seek grants, and speak to professional groups and City Councils.  I also have served on a Professional Board called Heartland Emergency Apparatus Technicians as Vice President and Director for several years.  I believe all of these skills directly translate into helping the Guild continue to succeed.

I am dedicated to the success of the KC Clay Guild, and would be honored to be selected to serve on the Board again this year!

John M. Devaney, Vice-President

1.  I was initially exposed to KCCG in 2010 through a Communiversity Class I took with my daughter.  I had taken a college ceramics course many years before and the Communiversity class refreshed my recollection of how much I enjoyed making pots.  I began formal classes at KCCG in 2012 and started volunteering at the Guild about the same time.

1.  For the last six years, I have been privileged to serve on KCCG Board.  During that time, I initially served as Chair of the Building Maintenance Committee and was able to coordinate with volunteers to complete many improvements to the inside and outside of our studio facilities. In recent years, I have held the position of Chair of the Education Committee.  In that position, I have had the privilege to work with Studio Coordinator Louis Riley and our talented class instructors in assuring a positive, productive student experience. I would like to continue to contribute to the overall improvement of the Guild, physically, academically and culturally, including the expansion of membership and provision ceramic opportunities to all of the diverse communities that comprise the greater Kansas City area.

2.  My background in work with non-profit organizations facilitates my ability to assist in continuing to improve our functioning as an organization, as well as, formulating and attaining our community education and outreach goals.  It also, doesn’t to hurt to have a lawyer on the board.

Melynda Steward, Treasurer

1) Why are you interested in serving on the KC Clay Guild Board?

I’ve been on the board for ten years and watched the organization grow. The guild is debt free and financially strong which is why we can continue to offer affordable programs to the public. I am interested in continuing to serve on the board to help continue and expand on the Guild’s successes  

2) Describe your skills, experience, and interests and how you might put it to use as a KC Clay Guild Board Member.

I am a buyer as a profession and enjoy seeking out the best deals for the guild. I have experience using Quickbooks and am familiar with contracting. 

Chanda Baker, Secretary

Why are you interested in serving on the KC Clay Guild Board?

My work life has provided me the luxury of being able to afford the necessities in my life.  For that I am truly blessed. Thus, I feel that it is important to share my wealth, not only financially but also by giving my time to worthwhile organizations.  Over the years I have been able to contribute by participating in cancer walks, marathons and other events to raise money for numerous organizations, as well as donating money.   The KC Clay Guild provides our community with the opportunity to learn about pottery and ceramics. With the reduction in the arts programs for public education this is a much needed resource, thus I would like to donate my time and energy in making sure the KC Clay Guild continues its valuable services.

•Describe your skills, experience, and interests and how you might put it to use as a KC Clay Guild Board Member.

I always say I am a product of both my parents.   My father has an MBA and my mother is a dance choreographer.  Thus I find myself a person who has a balanced desire to create as well as be a leader/organizer.    These skills make me a good team player who can work with anyone to accomplish goals. In addition I am an avid photographer who can take photos to utilize in promotion of the KC Clay Guild.    Over the past four years I served as the KCCG Secretary and would be interested in continuing in this position. In addition, I led the planning of our annual Raku fundraiser for the last two years and would like to lead it again this year.  Thank you for your consideration.

Aimee Adams, Volunteers

To me, the most meaningful part of making pottery is the community of artists. I have made many friends that I treasure; people, I would have never met had I not taken that first class six-ish years ago. The KC Clay Guild provides a place for one to learn the art of ceramics in an unpretentious environment. It is a place of teaching, learning, exploring, and sharing. I am just one individual who walked in the door to take a class with no expectations of continuing further. Little did I know….

While I spend a lot of time in the studio, my professional past includes years of management and working with individuals (of all ages with a wide range of disabilities) in roles such as classroom support, gaining and transitioning to a sustainable role in the workforce, and creating and maintaining goals. I hold a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing.

The last few years have provided me the opportunity to explore several roles in the Guild’s community. Not long after I started taking classes at the Guild, I was provided the opportunity to facilitate a private hand-building class for an individual who needed an extra hand. I held this role for two years. Halfway through this time, I was encouraged to run for a seat on the board and then served for two years as the Workshops and Events Chair. I connected with local artists and engaged them to provide a night of instruction for members of the local community. I moved on from that role to be home in the evenings with my boy-girl twins but eventually knew it was time to step up my volunteer service once again. When a monitor spot that worked for me opened last year, I jumped right in. It always feels good to give back to a community that has given so much to me.

A role on the board is much more than a monthly task. Is it my way to help assist in the maintenance and growth of the Guild and its community. If elected, I am open to accepting the role that best fits the current needs of the Guild.

Abby Callaghan, Education

1) Why are you interested in serving on the KC Clay Guild Board?

I have been coming to the Clay Guild since 2017 to create work. I have been coming frequently this last year and am really liking getting to become part of the community. I am recognizing more and more people and meeting so many artists that have a wide variety of work, experience, and personalities. As a teacher at the Guild, I love being able to help those that come into the Guild looking for advice whether they are enrolled in my class or not. It feels great to help encourage those who want to have clay become a new experience, hobby, or even just an excuse to socialize. I feel very comfortable at the Guild and would like to become more involved.

2) Describe your skills, experience, and interests and how you might put it to use as a KC Clay Guild Board Member.

In 2017 I graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute with a double-major in ceramics and art-history. As such, I am very familiar with a wide variety of ceramic processes and in setting up and taking down both gallery shows and pop-shops as well as advertising for shows. 

Since spring of 2017 I have been teaching classes at the Clay Guild, including the parent/child hand-building class, adult beginner wheel-throwing, and kids camp.  From teaching classes as well as making work I feel I am very familiar with the studio and the way it is operated.

I have interned and was a studio assistant for several independent KC artists where I learned about not only producing work, but photographing, repairing, packaging, and shipping artwork. In 2016 I interned for the On-site Liaison for NCECA where I was in charge of coordinating with artists and galleries to prepare for shows, advertising, formatting designs, and video editing for the event. 

In 2019 I received my Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Central Missouri and am currently an elementary art teacher in the Sherwood Cass district.

I feel that the experience I have could translate well into a number of positions on the board, particularly any area that involves preparing work for shows and display, coordinating with artists, or anything that has to do with education.

 Thank you for your time and consideration!

Kelsie Herron, Publicity 

1.). Why are you interested in serving on the KC Clay Guild Board?

I am interested in serving on the KC Clay Guild Board because first and foremost I love this place.  Throughout the last 3 years I have found a sense of home within the KC Clay Guild and I want to be able to take care of, serve, and give back to our community.  

2.). Describe your skills, experience, and interests and how you might put it to use as a KC Clay Guild Board Member.

I have my BFA in ceramics, am a former resident artist of KC Clay Guild, teach the Saturday kids classes at KC Clay Guild, and have teaching experience with all ages and abilities.  

Outside of the guild I work as a direct support professional at an art studio that supports individuals with developmental disabilities. I am severely passionate about art being accessible in our community to EVERYONE.  

Last year I was lucky enough to serve on the board as publicity chair and I hope to continue to have the opportunity to promote our events and facility in a way that will reach a wide range of people and hopefully contribute to bettering the Kansas City arts community as a whole.

Janet Reuss, Membership and Outreach

Why are you interested in serving on the KC Clay Guild Board?

I love working with clay!  I started by taking classes at a small community studio in North Carolina over 25 years ago and was hooked.  I really enjoy the community that the guild provides and am inspired by the work of other members. The guild is an awesome resource for the members and the community, and I feel I have the time and abilities to help the guild continue to grow and improve.

Describe your skills, experience, and interests and how you might put it to use as a KC Clay Guild Board Member.

My background is in engineering and management.  I have worked as an engineer, project leader, supervisor, and trainer for General Electric and Corning.  For the last 12 years I have been working from home as a property manager.  

With a background working with other clay associations and guilds in three other states, I can share experiences about how these other organizations have run.

I have been on the board as Membership Chair for three years and served prior to that as Advertising Chair.   For the last 5 years, I have co-chaired our Spring Sales.  

I have strong communication and organization skills.  From managing projects, to communicating with and organizing groups of people, I feel I can contribute to most any role the board needs.

I hope to continue to serve the guild in some capacity in the coming year!

Susan Speck, Gallery

WHY: I believe KCCG to be the best clay center in Kansas City.  I want to serve on the Board so that what I do on the Board continues the KCCG legacy begun by the founders in 1988.  As one of the last founders to still be involved with KCCG, it's past and future are very important to me.  I will work hard to continue KCCG's future as a great community for clay...good equipment, good classes, good people and good times.

BACKGROUND AT KCCG: I am a person who, when they join an organization, I really get involved. Even though I have my own work space at home (all of the founders had their own spaces when KCCG as begun), I love having a community to exchange ideas and learn from.  I have served on the Board for 15+ years. 

I have been:

a member at large: taking on jobs the President gave me

President: helping run KCCG, beginning the Resident/Intern Programs

Workshop Chair: starting the '2nd Wednesday Workshops'

Gallery Chair: working to maintain a show and selling gallery, recruiting artists, taking care of paying artists whose art sells

Teabowl National Chair: I have done this show since its inception in 2009.  I work year-round researching jurors, setting up jurying, organizing accepted work, finding volunteers, finding sponsors, advertising the show, helping with sales, helping with the juror and helping with or organizing workshops with the juror, striking the show, organizing and processing sold work, shipping unsold work back, organizing payment for artists. In the past 4-5 years I have had the help of Louis Reilly in the juror/workshop areas.

NCECA co-chair (with Elly Biggerstaff & Anne Mulvihill): organizing and recruiting artists & volunteers for the KCCG NCECA show, installing & selling artwork from the venue.

Laura Tyler, Workshops

1) Why are you interested in serving on the KC Clay Guild Board?

I am in interested in serving on the KC Clay Guild Board because I love being a part of the Clay Guild’s community.  I love that the Clay Guild makes ceramics accessible to everyone and is a great place to learn and connect with others who are excited about ceramics.  I have really enjoyed being a part of the Clay Guild and even more enjoyed helping in a leadership role on the Board in past years.

2) Describe your skills, experience, and interests and how you might put it to use as a KC Clay Guild Board Member.

I have served on the KC Clay Guild Board as the Workshops Chair for the past 2 years and have greatly enjoyed connecting with local artists to plan workshops.  I genuinely really love thinking about topics that could be enjoyable to members for our monthly demonstrations.  And I also really enjoy getting to know local Kansas City artists and giving them an opportunity to share their work and their skills.  I have also led the Holiday Sale Committee for 2019 and participated in the Strategic Planning Committee.  I get excited about helping organize events for KC Clay Guild members and hope that they have been enjoyable for others!

My educational background has always been art related, and although it is not always easy, I have worked hard at pursuing a career in the arts.  I am very passionate about art in general and have taught classes at several Missouri colleges.  I currently teach at Benedictine College while building my ceramics based small business.  I really value hard work and organization and these are skills that I try my best to bring to all aspects of my life, including serving on the Board.

I hope to continue to help KC Clay Guild grow and bring new opportunities to its members.  I very much enjoy being a part of the KC Clay Guild community.

KC Clay Guild is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 200 West 74th Street, Kansas City, MO 64114

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