April 16, 2006 – While the Artists' Association of St. John does have a gallery at the Marketplace shopping center to sell its members' works, the organization also puts considerable effort toward community endeavors.
"Part of our mission is to bring art into the community and expand art on St. John," gallery manager Claire Wilkinson said.
The Artists' Association is currently sponsoring five students who are taking art classes at the St. John School of the Arts.
The organization also holds classes, which are open to the public, at the gallery. Wilkinson said since participants may take one or as many classes as they like, it's a good opportunity for people to try get their creative feet wet.
"You don't have to make a commitment. You can just try it out," Wilkinson said.
She said the classes were a good way for visitors to add to their St. John experience.
The association organized five years ago as a way for artists to network and to learn ways to market their products. The gallery, located on the shopping center's second level, opened two years ago.
Wilkinson said that before the gallery opened, the organization had about 90 members. It now has 160.
Currently, life-drawing classes run from noon to 3 p.m. Mondays at the space previously occupied by Functional Furnishings at the Marketplace. However, Wilkinson said that space will have a tenant in June, so the organization will have to relocate that class.
On Tuesdays from 1 to 4 p.m., artist Bobby Ray Howle teaches a precious metal clay class at the gallery. Wilkinson said silver is incorporated into the clay. After the material is shaped, it's fired, and the silver is left behind.
Artist Paul Jordan will hold a perspective sketching class at the gallery on April 19, which runs from 1 to 4 p.m.
Wilkinson teaches watercolors classes for beginners from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursdays at the gallery.
She said other classes are planned, including ones like Web site development and accounting that will help artists improve their business.
The classes are $50 each for nonmembers and $30 each for members.
Membership, which runs $125 per year, helps fund programs like the students' classes at St. John School of the Arts.
She said that St. John residents and property owners may place four pieces of artwork in the gallery per month. Nonresidents who are members are allowed to place one piece per month.
The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information, call 774-2275 or visit their Web site.
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