Willing Hearts Clay Art Studio holds grand opening in Cumberland

By Darla Jackson
Contributing Writer

Willing Hearts Inc., a non-profit organization located at 503 Main St. in Cumberland, celebrated a new Clay Art Studio on Monday, July 26 with a grand opening celebration that kicked off with a ribbon-cutting that included the director of Willing Hearts Julie Pitts, new clay art studio director Nanci Cobb, Main Street Director Bobbie Gothard, members of the Tri-City Chamber of Commerce, and elected officials Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley and District 3 Magistrate Paul Browning.

The new clay art studio is complete with a working studio that offers classes and instruction in ceramics and canvas art. Participants can select a piece and paint it on site. In addition to director Nanci Cobb, interns will also be available for assistance.

Referring to the new addition Julie Pitts said that “this will be a fabulous addition to the ‘artistic experience’ we want to present in the Tri-Cities.” According to Pitts, the clay arts studio is five years in the making with the equipment being donated to the ministry in 2016. With work and determination, this endeavor is now a reality.

The new addition now accompanies the popular working stained glass studio that teaches hands-on techniques for creating stained glass art and other forms of art glass to all interested people and groups. The studio also has a retail space with completed art glass projects for sale to the general public, along with art supplies available for purchase as well. Julie Pitts teaches stained glass classes to all ages and runs the organization.

Nanci Cobb, director of the new studio, said, “Willing Hearts teaches art creations to empower the students. It has a program for those who are struggling financially to take classes and create art in glass and now clay. It is a positive atmosphere for personal growth. Willing Hearts shares the love of Jesus!”

Walk-in guests are welcome and can participate Tuesday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Evenings and Saturdays are reserved for the guided canvas painting classes, private gatherings, parties, and guided clay art classes. Participants select their bisque pieces that range in price from $3 to $18. Cost of painting is $10 to $20. Guests can create a finished piece for as low as $13.

Information about the studio and upcoming classes can be found on the Willing Hearts Facebook page and by email at WillingHearts.Ceramics@yahoo.com.