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Veterans to create “Words on Clay” in cathartic workshop at the Fine Arts Center’s Bemis School of Art

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 11, 2023) — Local veterans and active military members will have the cathartic opportunity to express themselves through words and clay during the new “Words on Clay: A Veteran’s Journey” workshop at the Fine Arts Center’s Bemis School of Art.

This grounding, two-day experience will include writing exercises by local veteran and writer, O’Dell Isaac II, currently a journalist with the Colorado Springs Gazette. Then, the written word will be transcribed onto the surface of sculptural clay pieces with the guidance of professional potter, Maggie Quinn. Textures and patterns will be incorporated into the clay forms and completed works will be pit fired. Each message and vision will be a completed archival piece to hang. An exhibition of the works will be displayed at the Fine Arts Center in the Bemis student gallery on First Friday, May 5 and run through June 23.

“We know that something good and beautiful can come out of our past,” said Tara Sevanne Thomas, Director of the FAC’s Bemis School of Art. “Our hope is that this experience will help our veterans and active military members process their experiences more deeply and that they will leave what doesn’t serve them in the fire pit and create something that reflects a piece of their soul.”

This event is made possible in part by Colorado Creative Industries Change Leader program. Kirkpatrick Family Fund also funds the Military Artistic Healing Program at the Bemis School of Art.

Due to the deeply personal nature of the writing process, we ask that journalists attend only Part II of the workshop on April 29 (10:30 a.m.–3 p.m.), which involves working with clay and pit firing. Video & photographs from Part I are available upon request. Interviews with both instructors are available.


PLEASE NOTE: Exposure to COVID-19 is possible in public places. For the latest information on any COVID guidelines and requirements, visit the FAC website.

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
The story of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College (FAC) began with the founding of the Broadmoor Art Academy in 1919. A museum, performing arts theatre, and community art school, the FAC is a pillar in the cultural community of the Rocky Mountain West providing innovative, educational, and multi-disciplinary arts experiences designed to elevate the individual spirit and inspire community vitality. For more information about the FAC, visit or follow on Facebook @CSFineArtsCenter.

Land Acknowledgement
Colorado College occupies the traditional territories of the Nuchu, known today as the Southern Ute Tribe, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and the Northern Ute People, who lost their beloved homelands due to colonization, forced relocation, and land theft. Other tribes have also lived here including the Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Comanche — and notably, continue to do so, along with many other Indigenous Peoples. To actively seek social justice, we acknowledge that the land continues to hold the values and traditions of the original inhabitants and caretakers of this land. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors, elders, and youth — past, present, and future.