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STREETSEEN  | BRin & Dale Baucum

Photo by Steve Roberts

Brin and Dale Baucum: Crafting Their Lives in Clay 

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger

Dale and Brin Baucum have been full-time potters since 1973. The couple met at the Tennessee Crafts Fair in Nashville in 1972 while both were students at the Memphis Academy of Arts (now Memphis College of Art).

“We’d been eyeing each other on campus, but had never formally met,” recalled Dale. “Brin was studying photography at time, and I was majoring in pottery, so we were not in the same classes.”

Both Dale and Brin knew their interests were in creative arts, but neither one started out to be a potter. Dale graduated from Senatobia High, then attended at Northwest Mississippi Community College, before transferring to Memphis Academy of Arts on a scholarship to study painting and print-making with Ted Faiers. Eventually Dale's interest focused on pottery, and he studied with Peter Sohngen, graduating with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in December 1973. Brin grew up in Memphis, living in the Vollintine-Evergreen area close to where the couple now live. She attended Snowden, graduated from Central High and went to Millsaps College for two years before transferring to Memphis Academy of Arts. She studied photography under Murray Riss, with a double major in interior design (with Phil Morris) and says that she has used her background in both disciplines in her work as a potter. She graduated with her Bachelors in Fine Arts in May 1973. The couple married in November 1972.

“As a gift, our wedding announcements were hand-written in calligraphy by Burton Callicott,” said Brin.

After graduating, Dale and Brin rented a building on Young Avenue and set up their business. The couple said they always believed their art would provide a self-sustaining future.

“We signed a six-year lease and set up with a giant kiln right in the middle of the building,” said Dale. “There were many times while we were there firing the kiln at night that we could hear the antics of Elvis and his entourage while they roamed the Fairgrounds.”

The Baucums started their business with Dale making both utilitarian and decorative pottery items and Brin working in photography. During their first year, Dale made his first dinner set which gave him “something big to work on and something to market.”

“The dinner sets helped support us,” said Dale. “We had a son, Samuel, in 1979, and we moved our studio to our home. For the first ten years, we worked together in the same space, but separately.”

“When we had our second child, our daughter Ireys, we were outnumbered,” said Brin. “That’s when I became a potter and we added on to our house. Baucum Pottery is still made in our home studio.”

Through the years, the Baucums have traveled to shows as far away as Ann Arbor, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas and Fairhope; however, they’ve found that they prefer showing closer to home. The Dixon hosted “All That’s Clay” that included a retrospective of the Baucums’ work called, “Double Vision.” From that show a large piece was purchased and donated to Christian Brothers University and is on permanent display in the school’s administrative building.

“We’ve been regulars at the Pink Palace Crafts Fair, and Babcock Gifts carry our pieces,” said Brin. “Additionally, we host three shows a year in our studio, the next of which will be Thanksgiving weekend. Through our website we sell to people all over world.”

The Baucums’ work continues to garner accolades. They have been awarded a fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission for 2020.

Dales sums it up by saying, “The longer you work, the greater the number of years you pile up, and the more the work reflects your own view as you dream in your studio. My wife and I are potters and have operated a Baucum Pottery for 47 years, and let me say we continue to have a great time every day.” 

For more information about Baucum Pottery, visit baucumpottery.com or their Facebook page. 


STREETSEEN  |  Elaine Hare

Photo by Steve Roberts

Elaine Hare: CEO of Susan G. Komen Memphis – MidSouth Mississippi

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and leading the charge locally is Elaine Hare, CEO of Susan G. Komen Memphis - Mid-South Mississippi.

“Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease,” explained Hare. “Komen was founded in Dallas in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life.”

When asked how Komen came to Memphis, Hare said, “A friend of mine, Molly Meishenheimer, a young mother diagnosed with breast cancer, brought a group of women to her house to decide what they were going to do. This group sat around her kitchen table and charted the course for the local Race for the Cure – this year will be our 27th.” 

The Race for the Cure originated with a route at the Shops of Saddle Creek in Germantown, and remained based there for 20 years. Then the race moved to Carriage Crossing in Collierville for two years. The annual event is now in its fifth year in Downtown Memphis at AutoZone Park. 

Hare came on board with the Komen organization in 2010 as Executive Director. 

 “I am a life-long volunteer and I practice ‘bloom where you’re planted’,” said Hare. “Through the years I have been fortunate to have served as an elder in Presbyterian Church USA, and on the boards of the Junior League, Memphis Oral School for the Deaf, the Pink Palace Family of Museums, Subsidium, Suburban Garden Club, and the Symphony League. I also volunteered at my son’s schools and our church. So, when the local Komen Affiliate realized that at 18 years old, it was time for leadership staff, a friend asked me to have a conversation. Honestly, I thought I would do this for a few years, assist through the changes of roles, and then hand it off. But, here I am nine years later.”

As the organization grew from an operating board to a governing board, and expanded its territory to include 14 counties in West Tennessee and the entire state of Mississippi, Hare’s role evolved from being Executive Director to being CEO. 

Hare explained, “My role is to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our community and fulfilling the duties and obligations that we committed to 27 years ago. Our mission has remained the same; saving lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.”

Hare continued, “We are locally owned and governed and not financially supported by Susan G. Komen. We’re like any other small business, we’re just altruistic with our profits. Every year we have to raise the funds to support our healthcare grants, our educational programs, and next year’s operations.”

One of the hats that Hare wears is as Director of Race for the Cure. The race in Memphis occurs on the last Saturday in October and generates over 50 percent of the affiliate’s annual income — dollars that are critical to the ability to give grants.

 “We have granted nearly $11.3 million to local community nonprofits and hospitals and over $3.5 million to research,” stated Hare. “Last year, 6787 people were served by grants for healthcare; screening mammograms, diagnostic and treatment services, navigation to help people find and connect to correct services, as well as transportation and psychological support. We reached another 20,000 people through our education initiatives; Pink Sunday, Healthy You, Hope Up, and Blossom Within.” 

For more information about Susan G. Komen Memphis - MidSouth Mississippi or to register for the 2019 Race for the Cure, visit komenmemphisms.org or call (901) 757-8686.