About

Our Mission

The mission of the Minnesota Pottery Festival is to provide a venue for high quality clay artists to educate and engage with an increasingly knowledgeable public by raising the public’s appreciation and understanding of pottery and help broaden the depth and breadth of ceramic arts in Minnesota.

Our Board of Directors

Betsy Price (Board President) is the former owner of the Clay Coyote Pottery and Gallery with her business partner Tom Wirt. Together they opened the Clay Coyote in Hutchinson in 1994. Tom and Betsy have collaborated to make over 145,000 handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pots. Betsy currently serves as the Board President for the MN Pottery Festival. Betsy has a passion for organizing community arts. She is a founding member of the Hutchinson Theatre Company and the RiverSong Music Festival and The Minnesota Pottery Festival. Other volunteer activities include Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce, Hutchinson Arts and Crafts committees, Hutchinson Hospital Auxiliary, and the Forest City Stockade. In 2010, Betsy was named “Volunteer of the Year” in Hutchinson. Other career highlights include Regional Recruiter at Bakers Square, a holding of Vicorp Restaurants, Inc. And in the 1970’s, she was a partner in a vegetarian restaurant and music club called Juicy John Pinks in DeKalb, IL and started a food co-op there that is still running to this day. When not in the studio or gallery, you can find Betsy in the garden, with her grandchildren, rooting for the Chicago Cubs, or planning her next travel adventure.

Mandy Baldry (Board Member) is a Personal Banking Loan Officer at Citizens Bank & Trust Co. She is also a committee member of their Marketing Team. Mandy also serves as a committee member for Dollars for Scholars, Bring It Home, and the Tim Orth Memorial Foundation. She lives in Hutchinson with her husband Nate, and three children, Jackson, Cora and Lucy. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, running, listening to live music, and gardening.

Morgan Baum (Board Member) is the Owner and CEO of The Clay Coyote in Hutchinson, Minnesota. The Clay Coyote is a small business incubator for emerging ceramic artists in central Minnesota. From 2004 to 2016, Morgan worked for the national nonprofit Consumer Reports where she educated the public and helped to empower consumers to make the marketplace more fair, safe, and healthy for everyone. Most recently serving as the Associate Director of Development, leading the Consumer Reports’ major donor giving efforts. Morgan previously worked for the Center for Public Integrity as an investigative reporter and researcher. Morgan is a 2001 graduate from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls where she studied political science, journalism, and art. In 2013, Morgan graduated with honors from Columbia University where she completed her Master’s in fundraising and nonprofit management. In her spare time she and her husband enjoy traveling, playing golf, and working with local nonprofits.

Kerry Brooks (Board Member) is the sole proprietor of Dock 6 Pottery in Minneapolis, MN. Dock 6 started in 1994 as a collective of 4 potters looking to share expenses. The other founding members have moved on, and Kerry has run the business for the past 11 years, growing the company to its current level of 45 employees, with several nationwide chains representing her work. Kerry’s formal training as a potter was in Ann Arbor, MI from 1988 to 1992, and Minneapolis has been her home since 1993. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music from California State University (1988), and another bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in American Cultures (1992). She was a graduate student and PhD candidate in American Cultures at the University of Minnesota where she taught many undergraduate courses including American History, Women’s Studies, and Writing for the Arts. Her philanthropic work has centered mostly around her daughter’s education as Kerry has volunteered in various educational settings and with the Girl Scouts of America. Pottery remains her passion, but she loves to travel and sing when she’s not running her business or raising her daughter.

Ernest Miller (Board Member) is a ceramic artist working in Minneapolis, MN. He is often found at local art centers sharing his ceramic techniques and experience through teaching classes at Fired Up Studios in Golden Valley, MN and the Minnetonka Center for the Arts in Wayzata, MN. Ernest built his ceramic career showing work in various regional and national art fairs including the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis and the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, DC. You can find a selection of Ernest’s work at The Grand Hand Gallery in St. Paul, MN and Schaller Gallery in Saint Joseph, MI. Ernest credits his formal education as a foundation for his successful outlook on ceramics and the arts. He received an associates degree from Olney Central College in Olney, IL and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL. When not making pots, Ernest can be found bicycling the beautiful regional Minneapolis bike trails or tending his urban garden and fending off malevolent squirrels with a broom.

Nate Saunders (Board Member) began taking pottery classes at the Edina Art Center at the age of 5. He quickly fell in love with the responsiveness of clay and was hooked a couple of years after when he tried throwing on the wheel for the first time. Something about it just kept bringing him back constantly and leaving each class he’d remember hardly being able to wait for the next. As he grew, he began taking adult classes at the Art Center at age 11. Being challenges in this way really helped Nate to grow as a person and develop his skills in clay. Shortly thereafter Nate was given the opportunity to start working as an Intern in the ceramics studio. This was one of his most valuable experiences in life. Nate was truly immersed in clay. Through this job he began to learn about mixing and recycling clay, mixing slips and glazes, as well as, fire kilns. He learned so much from this experience that he will carry for the rest of his life. Nate’s work for the past few years has been primarily salt/soda fired. In addition, he quite often fires wood or gas reduction kilns. All of his work is wheel thrown on a Leach Treadle Wheel and is made for daily use. Nate strives for a high level of craftsmanship and makes pots that are aesthetically beautiful. His goal is to create pieces that create a conversation with the user and truly enhance daily life. Nate started selling his work here and there, but in 2015 was when he really started to participate in art fairs, sales, and shows. After graduating high school, Nate is attending the College at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. He feels that he is truly blessed to be apart of this incredible ceramics community and to be working with two incredible potters, Samuel Johnson, and Joe Singewald.