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Four Seagrove Area Potters to Exhibit in Hastings Gallery

Pottery Ad ImageFour Seagrove potters will be featured in a free exhibition at Sandhills Community College from Thursday, November 9 through Saturday, December 2. The exhibit is an annual collaboration between the Northern Moore Family Resource Center (NMFRC) and the college. SCC will host an opening reception for the exhibition from 3-5 pm on Thursday, November 9.
Helen Probst Mills, who serves on the boards of NMFRC and the Sandhills Community College Foundation, says, “We are so excited to continue this collaboration that we began last year. The pottery tradition in northern Moore County dates back centuries, and all Moore County residents should have the opportunity to be exposed to its beauty and diversity.”
Rebecca Roush, Vice President of Academic Affairs at SCC and NMFRC Vice Chairperson, adds, “We were hopeful last year that it might become an annual tradition featuring different potters each year. Given the success of last year’s exhibition, it appears the tradition is well on its way!”
The potteries that will be featured this year include Jugtown Pottery, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Jugtown Pottery was founded by Jacques and Julianna Busbee, who moved to Moore County because of their interest in antique ceramics from northern Moore County. They arrived at a time when the demand for pottery was lagging. Busbee recognized a market demand for greater variety in form, and he considered the primitive and early periods of Chinese ceramics to be “the classic periods of the world’s pottery.” As a result, he visited museums to study Chinese pottery, accompanied by Jugtown potter, Ben Owen. The Jugtown “translations” of Oriental ceramics were among the most popular pieces, and the Busbees successfully revived the northern Moore County pottery industry.
Today Jugtown Pottery is owned by the Owens family. Patriarch, Vernon Owens, along with his wife Pam, and their children, Travis and Bayle, carry on the traditions of the potters before them. Vernon received a North Carolina Folk Heritage Award from the North Carolina Arts Council in 1994 and in 1996 he received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Also featured in the exhibit will be Blue Hen Pottery owned by Anne Partna. Partna attended East Carolina University for graduate studies after earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Estonian Academy of Art in her native Estonia. She threw her first pot on the hub of an overturned tricycle when she was nine years old while her younger brother spun the wheel.
Studio Touya, owned by Hitomi and Takuro Shibata, will be featured in the exhibit. The Shibatas intentionally came to the Seagrove area to be a part of the largest community of potters in the United States. Their original Studio Touya was located in Shigaraki, Japan. In addition to working as a potter, Takuro Shibata works for the non-profit organization, STARworks, as the Director of Ceramics Materials and Research. The Shibatas were artists-in-residence at the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove from 2005 to 2007.
Bulldog Pottery is owned by husband and wife team, Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke, who both earned degrees in Ceramics from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, New York. After moving to the Seagrove area in 1997, they established a studio in 2000. Their ideas have evolved as they have worked with ceramic material and observed the interplay between glaze, clay, and fire. They describe their work as “Nouveau Psychedelic Studio Art Pottery”.
Most pieces that are part of the exhibition are for sale, with 15% of the proceeds benefitting the Northern Moore Family Resource Center (NMFRC).
Closing Event – A Potter’s Christmas
A closing event will be held on Saturday, December 2. “A Potter’s Christmas” will run from 6 to 8 pm. It will be a ticketed event with all proceeds benefitting the programs of the NMFRC.
Featured potters will have works available for purchase, with 15% of their sales benefitting NMFRC. It will be a great chance to do a little Christmas shopping, while also supporting a worthy organization. Additionally, a piece of pottery from each of the featured potters will be raffled off that evening. Individual tickets are $20 and Patron tickets are $100. Patron ticket holders will be included in the pottery raffle. Refreshments will be provided by Wolcotts.
For tickets, please contact the NMFRC at (910) 948-4324 or visit Individual tickets may also be purchased at the door for $25 on the night of the event.
Art Education at SCC
Two oil painting classes are offered each semester through Continuing Education. Curriculum classes are also open to all. Spring semester will offer: Art Appreciation, Art History, Drawing I and II, Painting II and II, 3D Design, Sculpture, Ceramics, Figure Drawing, Printmaking, Photography, and Computer Art.
For Curriculum classes, new students need to apply online by clicking “Apply” in the upper right-hand corner at There is no fee to apply.
Contact, Lori Lorion at (910) 695-3879 or for questions about the Art Department or Hastings Gallery.

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