commUNITY Clay Project Exhibit

Great art is made when many hands work together.
– Susan Whelan, Instigator of commUNITY Clay Project

Kingston residents enthusiastically participated in the annual MAD Celebration of the Arts—in a socially distanced way this year—by creating hundreds of small clay sculptures in August.

This commUNITY Clay Project in Kingston was created by many hands and reflects the diversity and creativity in our community. There were just three rules—Handsized, Must Stand Up, Have a Face—and our commUNITY welcomed dragons, mushrooms, sunflowers, dinosaurs, monsters, trees, many kitties and birds, and more!

View this impressive collection of magnificent, whimsical, unique clay figures from September 26 through October 31 at the new MAD Gallery at Energy Square, 20 Cedar Street in Midtown Kingston.

The exhibition is visible through the large, ground-floor windows at MAD or, if you prefer to come inside, tours are available by appointment only due to the pandemic. Visitors will be required to wear masks and social-distance to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health.

This project was specifically designed to allow the annual MAD Celebration of the Arts to continue during the time of COVID-19 by bringing the arts to the community. Eleven Community Partners helped get clay into the hands of their communities. Five Weekend Workshops were offered free to the public at Energy Square.

Eight hundred pounds of clay was processed into long coils through a clay extruder, then each extrusion was sliced into four-inch pieces and hand-wrapped in plastic to keep it moist. Pickup/drop off locations were set up at the MAD/The D.R.A.W. lobby and in the hallway outside the Kingston Ceramic Studio in the Shirt Factory.

Thank you to our commUNITY Clay Project Community Partners!
Mountain Valley Manor
Kingston Ceramic Studio
The ARC/Cornell Creative Art Center
NE Center for Rehabilitation & Brain Injury
Kingston Boys & Girls Club
YMCA Farm Project
Girl Scout Troop 60059
YMCA Starfish Camp
91st Sojourner Scout Troop
Mountain Rise Daycare

Inspiration from ‘Across the Pond’
The MAD commUNITY Clay Project was inspired by an art installation created by Antony Gormley, “Field for the British Isles.” Gormley had 100 volunteers make 40,000 figures using three rules: Hand-sized, Must Stand Up, Have Two Eyes. It travels to communities that recreate the installation in a community space.

I love the way the commUNITY Clay Project brought people of all ages and experiences from across Kingston together to make one public art installation that represents us both as individuals but also as part of a larger community. Each individual figurative expression is so creative and lively, so unique and personal, you can’t help but look at each one more closely, and yet the mass of them is truly impressive. It’s really a beautiful thing, when art brings people closer (even if not physically), and we have a chance to feel a part of something bigger than ourselves. Especially now.
Lex Feldheim, Owner Kingston Ceramic Studio

This project was made possible with the generous support of Bailey Pottery Equipment & Ceramic Supply and funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by Arts Mid-Hudson.

For more information or to request a viewing, call 845-633-0815 or write to

MAD commUNITY Clay Project

MAD commUNITY Clay Project Puggles

MAD commUNITY Clay Project