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Gateway Students Learn About Japanese Culture

From left: Stifel Fine Arts Director Rich Morgan and student Joe Keyser make Japanese teacups via the Raku firing process.

Gateway Achievement Center students recently completed an Arts and Culture program in Raku Pottery and Japanese Tea Ceremony presented by the Stifel Fine Arts Center thanks to a partial grant from Oglebay Institute’s Giving to Education Means Success (GEMS) fund.

This program integrates art, science and history through the Japanese pottery form of Raku. Students learned about Japanese culture, created hand built teacups from clay and observed the Raku firing process.  They also participated in a Japanese Tea Ceremony, through three different one hour sessions.

Students greatly enjoyed the process of creating their own piece of pottery from start to finish, especially engaging in the firing process.  They were skeptical about the Japanese tea ceremony but were left pleasantly surprised with the taste.  It was a great opportunity to experience the hands-on Arts and Culture program through the eyes of young people. Today’s students are often thought of being social media driven, but this project took them a step into something much greater.

The Gateway Achievement Center faculty, staff and students enjoyed the lessons Rich Morgan, Director of the Stifel Fine Arts Center, taught to them and realize the experience wouldn’t have been possible without the generous grant funding from GEMS.