Instructor - Clay James

Clay is an artist and instructor in Catawba County. He has been working in the Art Field for many decades. Whether it be as a scenic designer, a scenic artist, a graphic designer, or a studio artist, he has been involved with the process of creativity in some form or another. Clay has worked as a freelance artist, with a variety of companies, as a teacher in many different situations and in many different age levels. And had the opportunity to both sell and show in a variety of venues across the country. His strongest assets are theatrical design, theater technology, scenic painting, fine art painting and drawing, and visual design. Clay is an experienced instructor in both theater technology, stage design and the fine arts. His own art work includes both abstract and representational work in watercolor and acrylic. He is currently Hickory Community Theatre's Technical Director. 


- Academy of Art University, 2004 - San Francisco, CA - MFA Fine Arts & Painting

- Lenoir-Rhyne University, 1978 - Hickory, NC - BA Theater Arts 

Teaching Experience: 

August 2017-2018 Visiting Instructor, Lenoir-Rhyne University

August 2012-2017 Assistant Professor, Lenoir-Rhyne University

Program Coordinator: Art Department 

January 2007-May 2012 Adjunct Instructor, Lenoir-Rhyne University 

August 2008-May 2011 Adjunct Instructor, CVCC

Exploration in Drawing

Begins October 6th ~ 8 Week Session

Exploring the Fundamentals, Designed for students 14-18

In this course, we will cover the basic principles of drawing. This will cover the four basic shapes, the use of pencil, pen and charcoal, chiaroscuro, basic perspective, and composition. 

Dates: Sundays - 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 

11/3, 11/10, 11/24, 

12/1, & 12/8

Time: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm 

Cost: $250

Materials Needed: Pencils - HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, graphite stick  

Pen and Ink - Fine Point, Medium Point, Brush 

Charcoal - Soft Vine, thin and thick, compressed, sand paper

Erasers - gum and kneaded, a couple of each

Pencil Sharpener

Paper- 18x24 Newsprint Smooth, 9x12 Spiral Bound Sketchbook, 11x14 Spiral Bound Sketching Board 

Week 1 - Introduction to Materials

Week 2 - Working with Line

Week 3 -Working with Shape

Week 4 - Working with Value

Week 5 -Chiaroscuro

Week 6 - Working with Perspective

Week 7 - Composition 

Week 8 - Final Drawings, Review and Critique 


Technical Theater for Teachers

One Day Workshop

Elevating your product value. Class is based on questions brought to the table. Please be prepared with questions that pertain to your interest and problems concerning your aspect or performance venue. 

Date: Saturday, October 26th

Time: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm 

Cost: $50 

Topics to be Covered: 

Production Stock

Construction Techniques

Adapting your Space

Design and Layout

Self Supporting Scenery

Planning for Volunteer and Build Days

The Minimum Shop

Designing for Load in and Strike 

Other Sessions Coming: 

Painting Techniques for the Theater

Rigging for your Needs

Designing Scenery, the Basics