Arts Renaissance in Tuscaloosa Schools

Bringing the arts to Tuscaloosa-area schools.


Marysia Galbraith

Marysia Galbraith is a cultural anthropologist and associate professor at New College and the Department of Anthropology at The University of Alabama. She was a Fulbright scholar in Poland for the 2014-2015 academic year working on the project "Jewish Heritage in Poland: Remembered Pasts and Imagined Futures" and is currently working on a family memoir and an ethnographic study of heritage projects.

Spring 2020 Workshop: Face Jugs

ARTS workshops begin again this Thursday, January 28 from 1-2 PM.  We need volunteers. You will assist the workshop leader by guiding students as they complete the activity. This week, students will make face jugs out of clay. 

Face jug by folk potter Reggie Meaders

Please contact Dr. Marysia Galbraith ( if you want to sign up to volunteer. There will be two per month over the course of the semester, and they will be on Thursdays from 1-2. 

Holiday Ornaments at Matthews Elementary

I want to send out a special thanks to all of the UA students who volunteered this semester, especially the amazing group from my class  New 238: Honors Cooperation and Conflict. They took responsibility for most workshops, from the original project idea to scheduling to leading the activity and helping the children.

And I’m not alone. 2nd grade teacher Ms. Presley writes, “Thank you for the art activity. The students loved it!!!!!!!”

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Fossil workshop postponed

We hope to reschedule today’s fossil workshop for October 14. Stay tuned!

Pet Rocks

ARTS kicked off this semester with a pet rock workshop for the 3rd grade at University Place Elementary School. The kids were fully absorbed as they painted and decorated their rocks with googly eyes, pompoms, or feathers. Then, the children named their new pet and wrote a story about it. Students in New 238: Honors Cooperation and Conflict planned and led this workshop. It was a great success! Here is Molinda with her pet rock Sally!

Molinda with her pet rock Sally!
Molinda with her pet rock Sally!

ARTS in the News!

The ARTS program was featured in the Tuscaloosa News today! The 5th grade at Matthews loved getting their face jugs back:

Arts Renaissance in Tuscaloosa Schools program sparks kids’ creative juices

Thanks to writer Mark Hughes Cobb and photographer Michelle Lepianka Carter!

Face Jugs!

The creativity of children never ceases to amaze me. Here is a sample of their inspiring work!

Volunteers Needed: Face Jug workshop THIS Friday, Feb. 26

We need a few volunteers to help with a pottery workshop, where children will make face jugs! This is always one of their favorites, and a lot of fun for volunteers, too. Please let Mindy ( or Marysia ( know you can come. It’s Friday from 1-2:30 at Matthews Elementary–come to the school at 12:45 to help set up.

Face jug by folk potter Reggie Meaders


Mural Project

Do you like to paint? Volunteers are needed to help paint a mural at University Place Elementary School. Send us your contact information  under “get involved.”


Teachers please let us know if you are interested in any of these clay workshops for your classes!

Volunteers please let us know if you want to assist when we offer these clay workshops.

Clay animals

This workshop can be adapted to class units on worms, fish, snails, or other animals. Students will learn basic modeling techniques so they can make their own clay creatures!

Expected run time 45 min

Recommended Ages 6+

Coil Pots

Students will learn about coil pots, one of the oldest forming techniques that is still practiced in many places throughout the globe. They will have the opportunity to craft their own coil pot. They can make a cup, vase or bowl!

Expected run time 45-60 min

Recommended Ages 9+

Face Jugs

Students will learn about the tradition of ceramic face jugs in the American South, and get to model a face on a miniature jug.

Expected run time 45-60 min

Recommended Ages 9+


Students will use a combination of techniques: stamping–incising, and applique–to produce their own unique pottery plate.

Expected run time 45 min

Recommended Ages 5+

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