Paul and Mary Runyan 

brass plaque that reads Runyan Pottery Supply founded: 1972 by Mary and Paul Runyan

The 50-year anniversary of a business is a milestone that calls for an epic and unique commemoration—and Paul and Mary Runyan found a perfect way to do exactly that through the Flint Institute of Arts.

The FIA’s “Take a Seat” program allows supporters to sponsor seats in the FIA Theater as a way to celebrate great people and achievements while also supporting the FIA. The Runyans founded Runyan Pottery Supply­—or “Runyans” as it is known simply and affectionately by many loyal customers—in 1974. Since then, the business has been the FIA’s major supplier and ceramic trouble-shooter. That partnership and support over the years have been foundational to the success of the FIA’s ceramics program. Runyans’ quality of clay formulas, materials, and equipment combined with the technical expertise of their team have provided immense support for the FIA, artists, faculty, and students over the years. 

Runyan Pottery Supply also donates clay each year for the creation of hundreds of bowls that are donated to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for their annual “Empty Bowls” event, which raises funds for people in need in the community. The Runyans have also contributed to the FIA’s capital projects, including expansion of the kiln room and major repairs to the large downdraft kiln.