Orange Beach Set to host the 35th Annual Alabama Clay Conference

Artists and their art will take center stage at this annual event, which returns to the island after 32 years

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The 35th Annual Alabama Clay Conference is set to commence Feb. 27 in Orange Beach at the Perdido Beach Resort. With presenters from as far away as Canada and California, and lectures by potters from Mississippi to Minnesota, this event will bring 400 affiliates of the ceramic world to the Gulf Coast.

This four-day event will include demonstrations, lectures, exhibits and networking opportunities for hobbyist to professionals and students to professors. Nationally and internationally known artists Shadow May, Jennifer Allen, Naomi Clement and Steve Louckes will be teaching classes and providing hands-on experiences. With four featured presenters and more than a dozen leading ceramicists, the Alabama Clay Conference provides ample opportunity for artists to engage with experts and deepen their understanding of all things clay.

While many activities are specifically for registered attendees, the public is invited to attend two exceptional events with the opening reception of the “Alabama Clay Market” and “Sunday at the Gallery.” The ALCM Opening Reception is Thursday, Feb. 27, from 5-7 p.m. in the Perdido Beach Resort Ballroom Foyer and will feature works for sale by more than two dozen local and national artists. Sunday at the Gallery takes place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., March 1 at the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach. This stunning venue will have concurrent exhibitions of featured artists’ work and a showcase of pottery from clay conference hosts both past and present. All will be on display for the public to peruse and purchase.

The last time the event was on the island was 1988, with Steve and Dee Burrow hosting, and this year Maya Blume-Cantrell, resident artist at the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach is organizing the conference. With an artistically aware and active community, venues that can support large numbers of guests and the beauty of 32 miles of beaches, the area is fast becoming a magnet for cultural events of all kinds. For more information visit the Alabama Clay Conference website at www.alclayconference.org.