Volunteers and students with the Tamaqua Community Arts Center spent a few weeks creating a permanent ceramic work of art in hopes of building community and continued financial support for the center.

"Each piece of the giving tree was made by hand and painted by our Clay Camp students," said volunteer instructor Craig Bulger, who serves as ceramic artist in residence for the center. "The children learned creativity, cooperation and the joy of giving."

The teamwork project involved cutting laying out clay, cutting patterns and placing each one of them carefully in the kiln to cook.

The public can sponsor the Arts Center through the purchase of a leaf on a Giving Tree permanently located on the wall of the center's main lobby.

Bulger added that each leaf will feature the name and/or business of the sponsor. Center volunteers hope to see the Giving Tree continually grow and spread its branches and leaves throughout the center.

"We seek to provide sustainable, inclusive educational opportunities and a be a safe place for the community to participate, appreciate, create and learn about the performing and fine arts," said center director Leona Rega. "We are always looking for those who are interested in volunteering at the center, like Craig does. We are in need of instructors who want to teach a class and we always welcome new ideas."

"Next year we'll do another large project," said Bulger. "Hands on experience is always the best teacher."

To make donations to the center to support building improvements and future programing, contact Rega at (570) 668-1192 or www.tamaquaarts.org.