Instructor Helena Leary-Heinz is a pottery fanatic — and she has been since she was old enough to play with Play-Doh. She spends half of her time teaching pottery classes and managing the Arts Center’s pottery studio, while spending the other half of her time at art shows and making pottery at her personal studio.
Leary-Heinz has “always been interested in art,” creating coil pots and small sculptures from a young age. As she grew up, her love for ceramics never faded, and she attended a magnet school in Cincinnati, Ohio, called the School for Creative and Performing Arts where she learned more about art and its intricacies.
After her time at the magnet school, she attended Eastern Kentucky University and Ohio State University where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts. Since then, she has been teaching art to private students for more than 20 years.
She mainly teaches pottery to adults and enjoys teaching children, too. She also occasionally teaches painting and drawing at the arts center. Leary-Heinz enjoys watching her students grow and learn as all ages and skill levels are welcome in her classes.
Leary-Heinz described her pottery as “functional” items (such as cups and bowls) and as having a “fairly feminine aesthetic.”
“I like more delicate, subtle colors in my glazing, and I like elegant shapes usually with embellishments that involve flourishes or curly cues or fun little knobs,” Leary-Heinz said.
Leary-Heinz has enjoyed her last 14 years as a Minnesotan, specifically enjoying the art scene, and is “thrilled to be a part of it.”
“I want to see (Lakeville’s art scene) grow,” Leary-Heinz said. “I know that Lakeville is growing and we’re adding more homes and more families every year, and I just want to help the Arts Center thrive.”