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Windgate Foundation funds relocation of Lyon College’s Kilted Kiln

The Kilted Kiln is now part of the Lyon campus thanks to a $25,000 gift from the Windgate Foundation.

“The Windgate Foundation has made an extraordinary investment in strengthening arts education around the state of Arkansas over the last several decades,” said Vice President for Advancement Dr. David Hutchison. 

He continued, “Lyon College shares that vision, and so we are excited to create this new partnership with Windgate.”

Visiting Professor of Art James Berry said the Kiln is now located in the Temp in the old kitchen area and will have an auxiliary building behind the Temp starting in fall of 2021. Being on campus gives the Kilted Kiln the opportunity to start a clay club and have onsite recruitment efforts through Upward Bound, APPLE and individual high school events.

“We have started referring to the space as ‘The Kitchen,’” said Berry, laughing. “Being on campus will also allow us to have demonstrations for Lyon students, faculty and staff.”

Lyon College acquired the Main Street Pottery studio in Batesville in 2018 and began leasing the commercial space downtown, allowing the College to offer ceramics classes for the first time in decades.

The studio was rebranded as the Kilted Kiln and began hosting Lyon academic courses as well as community workshops and demonstrations. In its first year, the Kiln underwent a dramatic expansion with the hiring of a full-time artist-in-residence.

The facility, which is more than a century old, lacked heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) and suffered from structural integrity issues. Its location and lack of parking limited its appeal to the community and its accessibility for students.

The Windgate Foundation’s gift allowed Lyon to fund the relocation of the Kilted Kiln to campus, allowing the College to continue keeping the direct costs low for students and free to community members.

Berry said the Kilted Kiln will host community events with local and discounted workshops for members of the Lyon community.

“I’m hoping to bridge ceramic students with the Scot Shop and a few other businesses on Main Street in fundraising efforts,” he said. 

“The College’s visual arts and ceramics have been some of its most prominent and successful programs in recent years,” said Hutchison, “and this relationship [with the Windgate Foundation] will help facilitate the growth of both as we expand our presence and offerings in the region.”