New program in Vevay promotes the arts to the community with exhibits, classes, programs


A new initiative for promoting the Arts in Switzerland County is underway. A group of Switzerland County friends and neighbors is establishing an Art Center, located right in the middle of town. They are going forward for the arts in our area in the tradition of the Community Studio Gallery which operated on the third floor of the Odd Fellows Building putting on art shows and other educational activities. The important role of the visual arts in the everyday life of the county was advanced and stimulated. The parent organization accomplished so much even from the remote third floor location, notably initiating the First Friday Culture in Vevay five and a half years ago.

Now a street level facility has been made available to the arts group, which is going forward as the Art Center of Switzerland County. The historic Unwiller building, right in the center of town, has been made available for the development of a center for art and education by its new owner, Ron Hocker.

The Art Center’s newly organized board of directors is already planning new signage for the building so it can be identified by drivers on the state highway and by cars stopping for the light at Ferry Street. The building is on the Ohio Scenic Byway as well as the Indiana Wine Trail. The large display windows will permit sidewalk view of exhibits and activities as the welcome mat is rolled out for the arts. The building’s ample wall space and floor space make exhibits, lessons and talks on problems . . . and all facilities on the ground floor are wheelchair accessible. The side yard will be part of the Art Center plans for open air lessons and for socializing. The second and third floors will be remodeled in the future for use as meeting rooms, classrooms, offices, etc.

A Partnership for Opportunity

The energy driving the Art Center will come from its Curator Partners. This group of artists and friends of the arts will plan exhibits, programs, workshops and field trips. They may develop ideas for fundraising, forwarding their ideas to the board of directors. The Curator Partners may divide their focus on traditional visual arts like Photography, Painting, Sculpture, Craft and Applied Art, as well as experimental multi-media events . . . . The partnership of artists is not so much a branch of management but a place for new ideas can come forward and be exhibited.

You Are Invited

An initial get together of artists and friends is scheduled in the building at the southwest corner of Main and Ferry streets for Tuesday evening, August 9th, at 6 p.m. Everyone is invited to take part in the development of a strong partnership of artists. Please come to town and see the building, imagine how it can be used to promote the visual arts, and meet friends with an interest like yours. Together we can develop ways to promote and develop your creative efforts, share and exchange ideas. The ideas and energy of Switzerland County residents will make our Art Center come alive for the enrichment of everyone’s life.

Art Lessons

Teaching and sharing ideas on art and creativity is at the core of the Art Center’s purposes. Instruction may follow the tie honored format of one teacher, one student, where individualized lessons lead to satisfying progress. Classes will also be offered for young and old who want to explore various media, including sculpture, and who are interested in the basics or advanced techniques. Wall worthy images are guaranteed.

The Art Center will prepare and present two talks: “Why Teach Art” and “How to Teach Art”. . . promise to be more than jargon.

Residents with an interest in giving instruction in Arts or Crafts, or who have an idea for a workshop are invited to come to the meeting of the Curator Partners on Tuesday, August 9th, at 6 p.m. to connect with the Art Center and give your name as a resource for planning.

Social and Civic Events

A change of Pace in an Art Space

The Art Center will be available for people and organizations who are planning a reception, meeting, or fundraiser. The setting in an historic building, plus the novelty of being surrounded by fine art is attracting inquiries already. There is something elevating about a gallery setting that might make it the perfect place to plan a reception. The Art Center is developing a concept of renting the use of the main exhibit floor for events.

Fundraising and Fun

The Art Center intends to link the words . . . Fun and Fundraising. First Friday, September 2nd, will be the day to find out just how much fun it is to make your choice of original art from . . . The Wall. Area artists are donating works from their studios and sketchbooks for visitors to choose from for a $10 donation. . . . Early birds will have the first choice, and there will be some surprises . . . don’t miss the fun. “The Wall” promises to be a popular attraction in the Gallery. If you have something you’d like to donate, please come to the meeting of the Curator Partners on August 9th, 6 p.m., in the Art Center, southwest corner of Main and Ferry streets.

October 1st brings the Sleepy Hollow Festival to Main Street. The Art Center is organizing an Outdoor Painting event with an Auction in the evening. Plans are underway for a booth on the Courthouse square where the work of area artists and artisans will be displayed for sale while the artists set up their easels and get busy making fresh new images of the town. A wine reception and art auction in the evening will benefit the Art Center. Watch for publicity of this town wide event as the plans are finalized.

Our new Art Center is big enough to hold us all . . . the programs and organization are designed to be inclusive of everyone. Please come to the meeting of Curator Partners . . . you might discover that you want to be part of the action . . . there are many interesting things to do, and you are invited to join in.