Oil Creek Earthworks slates activities, events this year

The Oil City Arts Council has set the wheels in motion as it begins a fresh pottery program for this year.

Oil Creek Earthworks is a nonprofit studio that was initiated many years ago but formally opened in 2015.  The studio is now in full-swing and offers equipment, space, classes and seasonal events for both adults and children all year long.

The studio’s name is derived from Oil Creek which is near where the facility is located in the Annex of the Transit Building on Seneca Street in Oil City.  This latest venture under the arts council was made possible through team effort that began in 2012.  Lee Muehlberger and Daniel Feroz transformed the dark, unleveled, basement area into a well-lit, comfortable, safe working space with
plenty of storage.  The rented rooms had to be rewired, plumbed for water access among other renovations.  Joann Wheeler and Mary E. Mehlburger secured grants from PNC and Venango Area Community Foundation.

Much of the equipment was purchased with an anonymous $16,000 donation.  The equipment includes four kilns, kickwheels, electric wheels, pug mill, slab roller and many other items.

Initially, arts educator Angela Bowersox was employed as manager.  She now volunteers her time and expertise to the first community ceramic studio in the area.

Due to the success of the basic pottery classes, a new advanced class is slated for February and is will be taught by resident potter Bill Hankins.

Beginners’ classes are still offered to individuals and groups by appointment.

A Spring Craft Fair is slated for Saturday, March 11, and is open to all crafters to participate.

Arts in Action is the summer kids program which runs during the third week in June.  Parents and children are encouraged to look for the dragon-fly symbol downtown that marks the start of this camp.

The Pots and Pumpkins event that provides space for independent vendors and raises funds for the studio will return by popular demand this fall.

Additionally, there is a steady stream of activities such as Valentine Craft for Kids, Ceramics and Sip, Pottery Date Night, Canvas Painting, Mugged! and others.

During the artists’ Open Studios on the second Saturday of the month, the pottery studio is also open to the public.  The entrance to the studio is through the black iron gate between the Transit Building and its Annex.

For event details and registration for classes, people may visit Oil Creek Earthworks Pottery Studio on Facebook or call 670-5303.

Upcoming events at the studio include Valentine Crafts for Kids from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8 and a Pottery Date Night from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11.