ARC art teacher Rodney Mott to welcome WorldStoke before retiring in 2022 – The American River Current

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Founder of Penryn Workshop, host of Worldstoke, Rodney Mott, is an accomplished teacher and mentor

Rodney Mott, adjunct art professor at American River College, pictured left, has dedicated his life to teaching and creativity. (Photo by Diana Martinez)

Rodney Mott, assistant professor at American River College, has dedicated his life to teaching and creativity. He has taught art in multiple mediums such as clay, painting, drawing, sculpture and more in the Sacramento area for almost 30 years, primarily in the Los Rios Community College district.

Mott says his first adventure in art was a pottery class as a freshman in high school, living on the East Coast. His passion for clay continued throughout his studies, as he majored in English at Penn State and, later, when he received his Masters of Fine Arts from Claremont College.

He is also the founder and director of the Penryn workshop, created in 1992. The workshop program has hosted many renowned artists facilitating clay and wood firing for over 30 years.

From March 11-14, Atelier Penryn will host WorldStoke, a collaboration of ARC art students, artists, friends and clay lovers. It is an international symposium of wood firing, artist demonstrations and discussions to address social equity in ceramic art.

The event will include wood and raku firing, practical clay workshops. Over 50 students received scholarships to attend the event through Penryn Workshop.

Devin Walker, a student in Mott’s Spring 2021 class, gave a presentation on artist Emory Douglas. This seed of knowledge led Mott to contact Emory Douglas who accepted the invitation to be the main presenter of WorldStoke.

Emory will speak to a live audience at the ARC and will be broadcast live at the Blue Goose Event Center in Loomis.

One of Mott’s students invited special guest Sara Rahmani to class. Rahmani is a 25-year-old painter and engineering student from Afghanistan who recently moved to Sacramento.

“Rahmani’s paintings represent some of the current events in Afghanistan, which had just gone viral on social media,” Mott said. “Sara Rahmani’s courageous presentation to our class has inspired us all.”

There will also be a fundraiser for the California Food Bank. Empty Bowls / Empty Goblets is a regional organization that will fundraise for the California Food Bank during WorldStoke.

“Professor Mott’s class was something I looked forward to during the pandemic as an opportunity to interact and connect,” said Nathaniel Rescostudio, an ARC student.

Recently, Mott’s students hosted an event, Clay Day, which was held outside the State Capitol. East Bay Clay and the Penryn Workshop donated over 2,000 pounds of clay for the public to play with.

The event was a challenge to organize given the limitations of COVID restrictions, but it was a success bringing all cultures together.
“I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to teach at ARC, the multicultural nature of our student body has taught me more than I could ever teach,” said Mott. “I learned more from my students online than any of my previous courses. “

Mott says he’s excited to be returning to the clay studio next semester as it will be his last class. He will retire and move Atelier Penryn to France to pursue his passion for art in spring 2022.

“Creativity is the opportunity for everyone to believe in themselves,” Mott said. “An art major is a major in itself. With art, we will find the equity that we seek.

Students interested in attending WorldStoke March 11-14, 2022 or Rodney Mott can visit WorldStoke.org to learn more.


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