GLADWIN – From Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory in New York during the 60’s to Van Gogh’s Yellow House in France during the 1880’s, artists have always needed a place to be with each other. Creativity often seeks creativity to foster ideas and spark new inspiration. The place for this in Gladwin is the Gladwin Area Artist Guild.
The Gladwin Area Artist Guild is a community art guild that welcomes all skill levels and artists of any medium. The only requirement is that you be interested in art. “All they have to do is show up on a Thursday,” Lora Perkins, Guild President, said. Perkins has been involved with the guild for three years. In the fall of 2017 she became President.
The Guild currently meets once a month, but Perkins is hoping that they will soon be able to meet twice a month. In the past, the Guild has taken a hiatus during the winter, something she changed this year. “We had meetings all winter and I was very pleased,” Perkins said.
The members of the guild represent all demographics of the community. From a high school student all the way up to members in their 80’s, the Guild proves that art really is for everyone. “I think everyone has some creativity,” Linda Clark, PR manager and guild member said.
During meetings, guild members are able to share what they are currently working on. This gives an opportunity for feedback and support. They are also treated to a speaker, a guild member or an outside artist, chosen by the Inspiration Committee.
The Guild does excursions to events put on by other art guilds, gallery showings, and classes. In August they are hosting Scott Rice, an art professor from Kirtland College, who will be teaching pencil drawing.
In addition to their own members, the Guild looks to foster art education in the youth of the community. Each year they award two scholarships, one each to a Gladwin and Beaverton student. The scholarships are awarded to students who are pursuing an education in the arts.
The money for the scholarship comes from donations from the DeShano Foundation and money raised from the face painting booth they do at the Gladwin Arts and Crafts Show each summer. They also raise money for supplies for art classes at local schools.
Being involved with the community plays an important role in the Guild. Artwork from guild members is displayed in offices around Gladwin. “If anyone else in the community would like to display, that would be awesome,” Perkins said.
The Gladwin Area Artist Guild, which was founded in January 1999, is currently planning on a way to have the community involved in their 20th anniversary celebrations. Part of the plans for their 20th year involve a new kind of art show, involving both Guild members and community members. “We’re trying to open into the community and let them know we’re here,” Perkins said.
The importance of art is a large focus for the Guild. “We don’t have any galleries or an art museum here. We bring in an element of life that’s missing,” Perkins said.
It is the hope of the Guild that they are able to foster a creative environment that allows its members to see the world in a different way. “It’s our opinion that art is everywhere,” Perkins said.
For some of its members this leads to a better worldview. “You learn to see the world as a prettier place,” Clark said.
The Gladwin Area Artist Guild meets the first Thursday of each month at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Gladwin at 6 p.m.