Disability Supports celebrates the grand opening of The Clayworks at 1125 N. Main in Hutchinson, Kansas. Building on the strong traditions of artistic entrepreneurship at The Clayworks in McPherson.

19,000 square feet commercial building completely rebuilt and remodeled for use by people with disabilities and the community.

The Clayworks at 1125 N. Main in Hutchinson features an expansive studio where our exceptional artists explore their creative potential, and a retail gallery in which to display and sell their works.

Clayworks in Hutchinson showcases user-friendly design, including four feet of impact-resistant drywall and three feet of tile wainscoting, plus restrooms with lift systems.

At Clayworks, creativity and independence flourish, both for Disability Supports clients and for members of the community.

Inside are new areas for connecting and learning: a demonstration and teaching kitchen, an industrial arts space, a coffee shop and more…

Disability Supports of the Great Plains is proud to announce the July 16t​h opening of The Clayworks at 1125 N. Main St. in Hutchinson, Kansas.

When we first planned on building on the success of our McPherson Clayworks by adding the Hutchinson location, our focus was featuring our artists as the creative visionaries that they have become.”

— President and CEO of Disability Supports

HUTCHINSON, KANSAS, UNITED STATES , July 8, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Disability Supports of the Great Plains is proud to announce the July 16t​ h opening of The Clayworks at 1125 N. Main St. in Hutchinson, Kansas. The Clayworks in Hutchinson, like its sister location in McPherson, is the entrepreneurial creation of Disability Supports, featuring an expansive artists’ studio where individuals with disabilities create works of art and a retail store where the artists exhibit and sell their work, receiving 100 percent of the proceeds.

“When we first planned on building on the success of our McPherson Clayworks by adding the Hutchinson location, our primary focus was featuring all of our artists as the creative visionaries that they have become. The expansive space of the Hutchinson Clayworks facility, now allows for an unprecedented level of community engagement for not only our artists, but — with the additions of a state of the art culinary arts kitchen, an industrial arts facility, Scuttlebutts at the Clayworks and CosmoWorks — we are embracing participants who will engage with, and learn from our artists, literally from around the world,” says ​Rick Staab, President and CEO of Disability Supports.

Those community spaces inside the new Clayworks include the Midtown Gallery, for local, regional and national artists; the retail gallery, where Clayworks artists sell their work; meeting spaces; an outdoor basketball court; Scuttlebutts Coffee Shop, and CosmoWorks. CosmoWorks is a collaboration between the Cosmosphere Science Education Center and Space Museum and Clayworks. It will bring hands-on STEM education experiences and a wide range of other engaging activities to Clayworks clients and the community.

The 19,000-sq.-ft. building, originally for medical offices, has been completely renovated and rebuilt with materials both friendly to people with disabilities and to the environment. It features a closed-loop geothermal heating and cooling system, programmed LED lighting and is 100 percent accessible and ADA friendly. The studio includes two pottery wheels and space for 36 artists, plus indoor and outdoor kilns. A demonstration kitchen features roll-up access and overhead monitors; an industrial arts workshop is designed for on-site assembly and fabrication projects; and a hexagon-shaped room, dubbed “Songs for the Trees,” features a 12-foot, laser-cut steel tree for displaying wind chimes and other art pieces.

More than 60 subcontractors and vendors worked on the project, led by Hutchinson-based Jim Nunns Construction. “Taking this building from where it was to what it is now and will be in the future has been a challenge – a fun challenge,” says Gregg Alexander of Nunns Construction. “It’s a pleasure to be part of it, for the uniqueness of the design, but especially because who it is for.”

Becca Hardenburger of Salt Creek Interior Design in Hutchinson says the space balances accessibility with aesthetics. “We’ve used four feet of porcelain wainscoting throughout the interior to protect the drywall and because it’s simply beautiful in the space.”

In the gallery, stainless steel perforated screens line the walls, offering display flexibility for framed, unframed and three-dimensional art, and preventing the need to repair the drywall after each show.

Hardenburger invites visitors to notice a few special details incorporated into the design. “The stylized trees outside the ‘Songs for the Trees’ room feature leaves and birds made by Clayworks artists, and pieces of clay are used on the steel column at the entrance,” says Hardenburger, which she says serve as the “signature of the artist.”

Bob Harper, Chairman of the Board for Disability Supports and the parent of a Disability Supports client, says the new location represents a vision realized. “Rick has a vision and the board shares that vision— to dream big and see how far we can get,” Harper says. “Our board is made up of parents. Everything we do is for the kids. Here, they can expand their horizons, put a canvas on the floor and paint or build a birdhouse. We’re giving them the tools and they will bring their creativity to it. I’m amazed at the things they make.”

MEDIA INVITED to these private events:
Thursday, July 11, 2019​, 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Remarks from Officials, 4 p.m. – RSVP at dsgp.org/vip Confirmed Guest: Kansas Secretary of Commerce, David Toland
Friday, July 12, 2019​, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Ribbon Cutting, 4 p.m. – RSVP at dsgp.org/rsvp


About The Clayworks
The Clayworks, with locations in McPherson and Hutchinson, Kan., use creativity as a way to help people find a sense of place as well as a livelihood, and a place to share their gifts with the world. Guided by professional art educators and staff, Disability Supports clients work with various media and choose their level of contributions to the artistic process, from design to production, finishing, and the marketing of their completed pieces. Artists receive 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of their work. Visit​ ​www.theclayworks.org​ for more information, or visit The Clayworks in McPherson at 107 N. Main St., and in Hutchinson at 1125 N. Main St.

About Disability Supports of the Great Plains
Disability Supports is a unique caring community committed to providing the best in full-time and part-time services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1996 by parents who insisted on a personal model of care for loved ones, Disability Supports is located in McPherson and Hutchinson, Kan., offering day supports and residential programs, social enrichment, meaningful employment, continuing education, modern housing, case management, and wellness support. Visit​ ​www.dsgp.org​ for more information.

Kwesi A. Robertson
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