“Feats of Clay” ending after 25 years and Lincoln Arts closes doors: A sign of hard times

Editor’s note: This is a sad memo, posted late Friday on LincolnArts.org:

A Fond Farewell
To Feats of Clay & Lincoln Arts

For 25 wonderful years, Feats of Clay allowed Lincoln Arts to share the history and beauty of generations of artisans at Gladding McBean.

Feats of Clay welcomed more than 100,000 visitors to Lincoln over the years. They enjoyed our little town. They shopped here. They ate here. And each left with a better view of Lincoln than when they arrived.

Feats of Clay was sustained by the generosity of our biggest businesses: Teichert, Thunder Valley, Sutter Health, Kaiser, and Sure West, to name a few. Gladding, McBean gave the unparalleled use of their factory and the City of Lincoln donated our home. During the growth of Lincoln, all the builders plus other entities donated for our success.

But difficult economic times have resulted in a dramatic reduction in contributions. And try as we might, our fundraising this year has failed. Feats of Clay won’t happen in 2012. And sadly Lincoln Arts has closed its doors as of February 3rd, 2012.

We are deeply appreciative for our loyal members, volunteers and artists who have consistently supported us.

We bid you a fond farewell.

About jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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10 Responses to “Feats of Clay” ending after 25 years and Lincoln Arts closes doors: A sign of hard times

  1. Steve Frisch says:

    How sad. Lincoln has been hit hard. This event is an important and valuable local arts event. I hope it can come back in the future.

  2. jeffpelline says:

    We happen to be in Lincoln this weekend for the annual PlacerGROWN Food & Farm conference, where we are sponsors. We get down here often to distribute our magazines too.

    Lincoln is caught up in “boom and bust” economics. The commercial vacancies are visible all over: Entire shopping complexes are vacant, except for some storefronts.

    It is an important lesson of the need to expand beyond construction and real estate. Lots of the businesses are tightening their belts just to hang on.

    The “Feats” was a regional arts & cultural gathering that showcased the town, bringing $$$. Besides its cute little historic downtown, “Feats” was one of the coolest things about Lincoln, which suffers from the sprawl of Sacramento and cookie-cutter approach to new construction.

    One problem with this approach, not supporting “Feats,” is a spiral in what makes a town/region unique. It has happened in SoCal, one reason people come here.

    Foothills: Be forewarned. And let’s hope “Feats” is back in 2013.

  3. C Brundtland says:

    What a loss. It was an exciting place to be….an event inside a warm behive shaped kiln. Nothing can replace it.

    All the good stuff is disappearing little by little.

  4. Steve Dodge says:

    Back in the 1980’s Lincoln and Rocklin fell prey to the “grow or die” planning that was being touted. Rocklin, Lincoln and Nevada City were very similar in size. Nevada City was updating their General Plan at the time and decided to take a very different approach – feeling quality growth far surpassed “grow no matter what.” Lincoln voters were faced with a growth initiative on the ballot. Prior to the initiative pro-growth people moved into Lincoln and positioned themselves to vote. The pro-growth developers did a great job of selling the City Council on the importance of growth. It passed by less than 100 votes. Rocklin was a similar situation but I don’t think they actually had a growth initiative on the ballot. Now we see the situation they face. Large subdivisions sitting empty. Demands for services without tax monies to support them. Nevada City could easily have bought into this thinking and is still a target for it today. The developers are still knocking at the door and wanting “exceptions” to be made for them. The Meditation Center on Zion Street is an example of our Planning Commission and City Council ignoring our General Plan and Zoning Ordinance to accomodate a special applicant. Our unique community is the result of taking the hard route and saying “no” to unwanted, unneeded development and our Planners and City Council need to keep that in mind and we, the citizens, need to remain ever-vigilant.

  5. PeteK says:

    It’s more like a sign of poor city management than of hard times. I hold the people that govern Lincoln to blame for this not any ecomic issue. Lincoln has become an example of what NOT to do when growing your city.

  6. jeffpelline says:

    I followed up with the ED of Lincoln Arts this morning, since I was in town anyway. She reiterated the difficulty of raising money in this economic climate, and we talked about the contributions of Feats of Clay. Most of the visitors to the exhibits were out of towners; some from out of state.

    The Bee has an article about this, and makes some of the same points raised here: “A cautionary tale for building on the bubble, Lincoln now faces a high foreclosure rate, city budget shortfalls and a gulf between the community that longtime residents knew and the community new residents were promised.”

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/04/4238296/nonprofit-behind-lincolns-feats.html#storylink=cpy

  7. I’m returning today from the New Partners for Smart Growth conference. The cautionary tale of not depending on exurban and edge development, constantly expanding pools of capital, constantly increasing property values, and next generation preferences for the built environment looking like the current generations, has been a mantra of the hosts, the Local Government Commision, for almost 2 decades. Long before people shockedby the Great Reset were saying we need to live within our means, smart growth advocates were preaching that sermon. Perhaps some will learn a lesson. I suspect the usual cast of characters will mumble “conspiracy” and point ancient fingers of blame.

  8. Liz Kellar says:

    When I was editor of the News Messenger, it was clear city planners had their heads in the sand as to what was going on economically.

    • jeffpelline says:

      Liz,
      Sorry to delete a sentence of your comment, but I’m not comfortable with what you wrote about Lincoln Arts without some citations. Feel free to provide them. Thanks for understanding.

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