Ah Haa

The Ah Haa School for the Arts in the Silver Jack Building on West Pacific Ave. prepares for a busy summer. (Photo by Eva Thomas/The Daily Planet)

Inside the Ah Haa School for the Arts, exciting things are cooking for the spring and summer seasons.

Starting in late April kids' classes and youth programs will begin to pick up as well as some free programming. At the beginning of May, Ah Haa will host classes all in Spanish for both kids and adults, such as, "Alfarería artesanal: Exprimidores de cítricos" a ceramics class in which participants can make their own clay citrus presses.

"We have bilingual instructors, and that's available to all. But this group of classes starting in May are really targeted for our greater community," said Malarie Clark, Director of Marketing & Communication.

The school has been open in the Silver Jack Building since August 2021 and was able to include an all-purpose ceramics studio and a full chef's kitchen, among other amenities and additions. Clark explained since the school has been in the new building, the culinary programs and offerings "just took off" this past year.

Starting May 1, the Visual Arts Open Studio will be available to the public. The space can accommodate five, 100-square-foot areas with the artist's choice of tools and equipment. The sessions fall during the off-seasons with the Spring session, May 1-28, and the Fall session, Oct. 23 through Nov. 19. Each session costs $375. 

"We saw a need within our community, that our artists, even hobbyists — not just professional artists — are in need of that space to create. So, a lot of thought was put into making this facility work," Clark said.

For the younger artists in grades 7-12 who would like a bit more guidance, the Independent Studio for Emerging Artists Spring Session is May 4-25, Monday through Friday 3:30-5:30 pm. While the four-week course is mostly independent, students will have access to an Ah Haa instructor each Wednesday. The school provides students with basic materials like paper, clay, etc. 

There is a Ceramic Open Studio, but Clark said the waitlist is quite long. The new ceramic studio is extremely advanced.

"It features state-of-the-art equipment, including 12 pottery wheels, a slab roller, a glaze kitchen, and three electric kilns. Our large classroom space provides ample room for instructor demos and up to ten students to comfortably work in. Simply put, it was designed with our students and instructors in mind and has allowed Ah Haa to expand programming in new and exciting ways," said Tara Carter, the Ceramics Program Director.

To request more information regarding the three studio programs, visit ahhaa.org and click on "Open Studios" under the Programs and Events tab.

This summer, the school has a packed schedule of programs and events to fill the calendar. One of the most exciting programs is the Ceramics Master Workshops. The Ah Haa School will bring in renowned artists from across the country to teach for this class. 

"There's such a big community of folks who are hobbyist ceramicists or semi-professional ceramicists that are in Telluride. It's really exciting to serve that community and bring really exciting guest artists in for those folks," Clark said.

Carter echoed Clark's excitement about the master workshops.

"Our local potters and sculptors have the opportunity to learn and connect with leading ceramic artists in the field, right here in the box canyon," added Carter.

Outside of the master workshops, there are adult classes for all abilities and interests this summer. Courses include local instructors like Kathy Green and her Basic Shibori Silk Dying and a class with Emily Scott Robinson and Hayley Nenadal titled, "Turn your hobby into a hustle!"

Youth courses will begin to pick up starting April 25 with Prints and Patterns (K-2nd) and Chef's Kitchen (7th-12th) followed by a busy week of programming. 

In addition to the regular programs, Ah Haa is scheduled to offer 60 youth summer classes over ten weeks with five-day sessions of youth (ages 5-6, 7-9, 10-13) and teen (ages 15-18) camps operating from June 6 - August 12.

"Summer is incredibly close. We are so excited to be settled in our new space with our purpose-built classrooms and proximity to the surrounding beauty of Telluride. It's inspiring to think of all of the creations that will come into a form that will speak to the vibrant voices of our Youth & Teen Participants," said Hannah Kiermayr, the school's youth, and teen programs manager. 

Also, this summer, the Ah Haa School has music and happy hour events in the works for their rooftop space, which has previously been used for private events only. Ah Haa's big summer fundraiser will be held July 15-17, and Clark encouraged everybody to "stay tuned because it's going to be absolutely unbelievable!"

For more information, a complete list of adult, teen, and youth programs, and upcoming events and news, visit ahhaa.org