Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Make way for the Camas Art Council

Fairfield carves out a home for arts

Express Staff Writer

Bonnie McGough will be exhibiting her watercolor paintings throughout the weekend.

Supporting the arts is a community effort no matter how large or small the population. As more people embrace living in their corner of Idaho, the need to develop an arts community takes hold not only for artists, but also for arts education.

On Saturday, May 31, the Camas Art Council will hold its first meet and greet at 6 p.m. at 415 Soldier Rd. in Fairfield. The evening will include a barbecue and wine tasting by Carmela Vineyards in Glenns Ferry as well as a drum circle and street dance. In addition, on Sunday, June 1, the Camas Chamber of Commerce is reintroducing Camas Lily Days, which will include an arts-and-crafts show along with the welcoming of spring at the Centennial Marsh.

"The mission is to foster creativity and appreciation for the visual and performing arts," said founding core group member Marilyn Dillard. "It has never happened before. We want people to come and receive membership information. We would like to have the space open two to three days a week to exhibit art and teach classes."

Dillard has spearhead the core group with six other people—Kelly Fox, Bonnie McGough, Suzanne McCartney, Jeff Kreyssig, Richard Walagorski and Bob Rodman. The group met every Wednesday beginning February 8 and hammered out bylaws and a mission statement that has now led to voting for offices, creating advertising and starting a quarterly publication.

"The building was my family's business and was an old office building that was moved down from Soldier," Dillard said. "It was a title company for 70 years. We added 1,400 square feet and enclosed the building."

Artists are working closer to home and Dillard hopes to join education institutions such as the College of Southern Idaho for classes to be taught in Fairfield. In addition, there are ideas to create a guild.

There will be artists in attendance such as jeweler Bob Rodman, who works primarily in gold, silver and precious metals and has taught classes as an Idaho artist-in-residence as well as for the College of Southern Idaho. He has a studio on the on the east end of the Camas Prairie.

Other artists include Richard Walagorski, who teaches guitar and holds a degree in music from the University of Maryland, Bonnie McGough, a watercolor landscape painter, and Suzanne McCartney, a jeweler who makes wearable art and jewelry and primarily works with precious-metal clay. She teaches classes at the Bead Shop in Hailey and the College of Southern Idaho. She will exhibit works at the Ketchum Arts Festival, Hyde Park in Boise and at the Camas County Fair.

"There is a lot of dissension going on in Camas County and hopefully people will put their guns away and support this," Dillard said. "Everything is open to change and we just want to open it up and get it started."

Camas Art Council membership

· $25 quarterly fee for a basic annual membership includes 10 percent discount on classes and quarterly newsletter.

· $75 quarterly fee exhibitor membership includes basic membership with display space in the Main Street gallery, which asks for a percentage to be given back to the gallery per sale.

· $130 quarterly fee instructor membership includes exhibitor membership with access to the facility to teach crafts to groups or individuals.

· For more information, call Marylin Dillard at 764-2720.

Camas Lily Days

· Celebrate the arrival of spring at the Centennial Marsh and the abundant waterfowl in Fairfield on Sunday, June 1.

· There will be a Hearty Hometown Breakfast from 8-10 a.m., an art show and sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a kids' fishing derby for ages 12 and under at the "Kids' Pond." Local food vendors and treats will be available. Events will take place at City Park in Fairfield.

· For more details, call 764-2114.

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