Jerrol (Jerry) Jennings

jenningsJerry Jennings moved to Wilmington from Texas in 2004 to be at AstraZeneca’s headquarters for his position in Leadership Development. The Delaware Art Museum was closed for renovations at the time, but when the Museum reopened, Jerry became a Member at the Individual level. He also began taking pottery classes in the Museum’s Studio Art Program, and he has continued to take classes regularly since then.

What made you decide to try a studio art class?
I first visited the Delaware Art Museum because it’s a spot of culture that’s very close. The Museum feels like it’s part of the neighborhood, and it’s very accessible. When I looked at a brochure and saw the classes offered here, I thought pottery looked challenging—I didn’t know if I’d be any good.  I had artistic talent but I never developed it.  I really like sculpture.  My stuff tends to be half sculpture, half pottery.  I know my pieces are too heavy, but they’ll last. Every finished pot I make is a moment of that time.

What keeps you coming back?
You tend to think of a museum as a place to buy a ticket and then visit. The Delaware Art Museum feels more like a community.  It’s a place I go to be with friends and family. There’s a core group that keeps coming back to the ceramic classes. I’m still one of the worst potters in the class, but I’m addicted to it. I like pottery because it’s like playing in the mud, but no one gets at you about it.

What would you say to encourage someone to sign up for a class?
Jump in and try it. Pottery is not for everyone, but there are a lot of other classes to choose from: jewelry making, drawing, photography.  A lot of people in the classes are professionals with high-stress jobs. But you can’t think about anything else while you’re using a potter’s wheel. It’s a good stress reliever and a meditative activity.

Why do you support the Museum?
If people don’t support a place like this, it goes away.  With the recent economy, I know it’s been difficult for the arts.  I look at what I pay for Museum Membership and the classes, and I don’t mind. Supporting the Museum in every way I can means that it’s still here.