A Space of Their Own

October 6, 2010
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One year ago, the Black Bean Ceramic Art Center opened its doors.

October 2010 is the first anniversary of the Black Bean Ceramic Art Center in San Jose, Calif. The idea for the center, which functions as both a studio and a gallery, originated from the longtime dream of two good friends who finally had the time to bring their idea to life. After they retired from other careers, ceramic artists Ruben Reyes and Will Johnson found a brick building that had originally been used in the sheet metal fabrication industry. They cleaned it up over several months and opened Black Bean in October 2009. Their ultimate goal was to create a space in which artists can be part of a community and have access to vital resources such as potting wheels, slab rollers, and a storage room.

Black Bean differs from other art centers in many respects. It encompasses a central studio, art gallery, office, library, and a backyard space for kiln projects. Black Bean also provides a truly exclusive perk for many of its members: it is open 24/7. If someone is inspired to create, they can come in anytime. "You can come in at whatever time it's convenient, and the tools are there for you to use," says Reyes. Some of the members are high school students, while others are already accomplished ceramic artists. Nevertheless, everyone has the freedom to visit the facility and create whenever they like. For more information, visit www.blackbeanclay.com.

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