Allied Ceramics Art Institute

ACAI provides a place for the pursuit of creative expression in the ceramic arts. Involvement and creativity are basic to our learning and health. This is true for children, adults, seniors and communities as a whole. Everyone has the ability for creative expression. Clay is one of man's earliest and most lasting means of creative expression. Working with clay engages us visually, tactilely and mentally

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Address: 7425 Winding Way
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
County or Parish: Sacramento
Executive Director: David Wilkerson
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 916-966-2453
ACAI Studios & Gallery was founded on the belief that everyone has the ability to create and, through their art, to contribute to the beauty, excitement, and vigor of their environment and community. A well-balanced society encourages that creativity by supporting a safe and nurturing environment where members can develop skills in visual arts and crafts. In 2007, several ceramic artists identified a need for a community ceramic arts facility and founded ACAI. They noted shrinking budgets were impacting public education for all ages, especially in the arts. Although public and private ceramic art locations existed, they were limited in accessibility. Coupling budget information with the special requirements for ceramic, including space for equipment and access to work in progress, led to the establishment of a specialized facility for ceramic arts.

For several years, the board members of ACAI worked towards finding a permanent location. Since research indicated the single most likely cause of failure in similar programs was being priced out of business by rent increases, the board looked for alternatives. Through the generosity of one of the founders, a property was purchased for the ceramic art facility in 2009. After building renovation the facility opened in June 2009. Since 2009, ACAI has established a reputation of encouraging ceramic artists of all levels. Program development has included hand built, wheel fundamentals, adult and child classes, and family classes. Off campus classes have impacted the elderly as well as children. Equipment has been obtained or donated for all aspects of production of ceramic art. Memberships allow artists accessibility on the artist's timetable. Local artists have been able to interact with each other and the public through the on premises gallery. Most importantly, the atmosphere has remained positive and creative to all skill levels.
Without a facility with working space and a place for kilns and other equipment, we will not be able to continue providing services to the community and local artists. Because of the nature of ceramic art, having a dedicated facility available for use by anyone in the community at any time is essential to making the art form available to the community. Schools and other public entities have restrictions on their availability and cannot provide this service to the community or local artists. Every dollar will help us towards raising the funding needed to make the needed improvements to our facility.

Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Unrestricted - Building Improvements - $10,000 We need to finish paying for the work needed bring our building up to code and making it handicapped accessible. -
  2. Funding: Program - Summer Camps.- $15,000 This program provides creative summer activity for children 7-1
  3. Funding: Program - Gallery Program - $20,000 Monthly exhibits and programs featuring 20 -30 artists.
  4. Funding: Program - Year round Ceramics Classes - $25,000 This program provides children, families and adults with the opportunity to learn to create ceramic art. It also helps offset the shortfall in arts education in the public schools.
  5. Funding: Program - Studio Spaces and Memberships -$10,000 This program provides affordable workspace and equipment for local artists of all skill levels.
"Clay is a wonderful art medium that spans both centuries and generations. It has been a part of our journey literally since the beginning. It encompasses everything from the practical of cups, plates, bowls, to the fanciful frog world created by David Gilhooly or ceramic sculptures of Robert Arnson and Tony Natsoulas. The number of people, children and adults, who have had positive experiences with clay never ceases to amaze me. Their interest in having a place where they can again have 'fun in the mud' is clear evidence of the very real need for a facility and program such as ours. Unlike many art media, ceramics requires considerable specialized, large equipment, such as kilns, potters wheels etc. In addition, it requires significant space for drying, glazing and firing the work. Given these and other factors it is beyond the ability of most people to have a place in their home to engage in working with clay.' 'From an individual standpoint, ceramics offers an engaging imaginative tactile experience that is becoming harder to find in our fast paced digital world. Research has shown considerable health benefits for all ages when participating in art activities. For children, it develops the imagination and critical thinking, and refines cognitive and creative skills. Art teaches children life skills needed in successful adults. These include developing an informed, articulating a vision, learning to solve problems and make decisions, building self-confidence and self-discipline, developing the ability to imagine what might be, and accepting responsibility to complete tasks from start to finish. With adults creating art can contribute to stress reduction, and a longer more positive life. Ceramics is a medium that fosters participation and a sense of community. It is truly a pleasure to be part of bring this needed opportunity to the Sacramento Region.' Sincerely, Dave Wilkerson, Director