Art Shorthand Blog

Gratitude for the Holidays


What does it take for a tiny Arts Council, on a tiny budget, to get everything done? Volunteers! Lots of fabulous volunteers.

How does our Arts Council keep a Gallery open, have a Permanent Collection, put together a Wheeling Gaunt Sculpture Project, an Art History Series, run an Open Studios event and have a Holiday Art Jumble and …well, just do so much?

We have a Board of volunteers and a few part time staff- but it’s the volunteers that make so much possible in Arts Council!

So who are these wonderful volunteers?

The Board. Jerome Borchers, Nick Gaskins, Matt Cole, Valerie Blackwell-Truitt, Tim Barhorst, Sean Devine and Christine Klinger

The Gallery Committee-

Mary Cargan, Kathy Moulton, Dianne Collinson, Theresa Mayer, Jonatha Wright, Mia Knight, Maxine Skuba, Angie Day, Talitha Greene, and Angela Smith

I call them the Glorious Gallery Committee because they are Glorious. We meet once a month.

They help plan what is coming up, one thing we’ve got planned for next year is a wonderful, goofy, interactive surprise for the community.

We discuss things that come through the arts council e-mail and how to answer it.

This past year we started an Art Blog on the YSAC Website, thanks to our newest member Angela Smith.

The Gallery Committee gives advice when I’m panicking-they get e mails titled Help!

They hang the members show and make the party happen for the reception.

They put together the Jumble in November, which is a lot of work sorting, cleaning, hanging, arranging and pricing the myriad of fabulous arty stuff that we get donated.

They plan special events and help host at receptions and bring yummy food.

Kathy Moulton makes individual name tags and wonderful reception games and beautiful signs for us.

She also painted (for the second time, she made our last one too!) a fabulous new Arts Council sign for the building.

The Gallery Committee shows up to scrape fences and pull weeds.

This past year they have put together a new program we are starting next year called The Emerging Artist Program. Dianne Collinson and Maxine Skuba wrote the details and designed a brochure.

The Stewardship Committee

Julia Cady, Kathy Moulton, Anna Arbor, Margrit Petrie, Brian Maughan, Bette Kelley, Pat Robinow, Debbie Chlebek, Nancy Howell-Koehler, Aaron Zaremsky, Christine Klinger and Paige Babbs is our Archivist

The Stewardship Committee was started to support and protect the Permanent Collection. The Permanent Collection is about the art and the artists of Yellow Springs.

The Stewardship Committee makes decisions about what, when and where the art is collected, keeps records of donations of art and struggles with how best to keep the collection safe and in view of our community. Kathy Moulton is making a wonderful book of pictures and information about each piece in the collection. For years she has kept a spread sheet record of the collection that grows ever larger as the collection grows. A couple of years back, Kathy made us a wonderful brochure for the collection with a map of where all the art is.

This past year we planned and hung and did the receptions for the “Timeline Show” and the “Nature of Things” show. These shows take place at the John Bryan Community Gallery which is the home base of the Permanent Collection. The Village Arts & Culture Commission partners with us in care giving for the Collection. Much of the Collection is still hosted by Antioch University Midwest. So there is a lot of moving of art between our 2 venues. Right now we are working on moving about half of the art from Antioch University Midwest to the John Bryan Center.

The Gallery Hosts

Mia Knight, Mary Cargan, Susan Harrison, Chris Hodgson, Brian Maughan, Holly Underwood, Margrit Petrie, Deb Henderson, Chris Zurbuchen, Susan Gartner, Christine Klinger, Mary Frost Pierson, Brian Millar, Luan Hite, Gayle Sampson, Talitha Greene, Marty Davenport, Angela day, Barbara Vandecreek, Nora Chalfont, Maxine Skuba, Harriet Dadras, Parviz Dadras, Jonatha Wright, Julia Cady, Bruce Parker, Sondy Kai, Lincoln Castricone

Gallery Hosts- We couldn’t have a gallery without them! They greet guests, take sales with our very primitive receipt system and are our early warning system that something needs fixing or changing. Like the toilet is broken, the lock box key has gone awol again or we are out of paper towels or please give us information about the artists, so we can talk about them to our guests. They come up with great ideas. And after sitting with the art for 3 hours, they tend to purchase art!

YS Open Studios Committee

Sara Gray, Dianne Collinson, Kathy Moulton and myself.

These volunteers are powerhouse women and artists, they created the YS open Studios and work hard on it every year. Karen Wintrow and Alex Scott from the Chamber work on this event too as partners.

And the wonder man is Nick Gaskins, of Bing Designs who volunteers his time to design the

YSOS Web Site, banners, brochures, rack cards, and ads.

Jumble Elves

I have a very soft spot in my heart for the Jumble Elves, because I love the Jumble and it takes a ton of people to make it happen- people donating and people getting the donations unpacked, sorted and cleaned and people who set up the Jumble, coordinate the Members Only Sneak Peek reception, and restock the Jumble daily and the ones who Gallery Host and do all the sales.

They are the Gallery Committee plus Susan Gartner (a woman of great heart and ingenuity, creating lovely things with bits of this and that. She designed gorgeous window scenes for the Jumble for a couple of years.), Sondy Kai,(who has also helped design and fix and refix our garden many times and for years was a member of the Gallery Committee) Holly Underwood (who has given us storage space for our left over arty stuff for a couple of years now-thank you, thank you!) and Julia Cady (who basically has done everything from cutting green boughs for decorating the tables to spending hours, gently untangling long strands of fiber art for a huge textile sculpture we were donated.)

Arts Council Shleppers

So whats a shlepper? It’s some one who moves stuff-art, boxes of Jumble arty things, tables and chairs for receptions etc.

Hays and Kathy Moulton answered an emergency, need-help-now kind of call to move tons of Jumble boxes this past year, Jerome Borchers our Arts Council President, is like the Ghost Busters- when we need something done”Who ya going to call?” He is a man with a van and a trailer and he is not afraid to use it. He is a shlepper par extraordinaire.. Holly Underwood, like superwoman, moves tons of jumble boxes into her attic and out of it each year. Julia Cady shlepps boxes of jumble donations to her home for overflow storage. Steven Deal is my husband and tends to pick up the pieces when I am desperate, he made up the shlepper designation. He has much experience in shlepping.

Gallery Host Coordinator

Mary Cargan is amazing- she quietly handles coordinating the Gallery Hosts- which can be a lot of communicating with people. She does many Hosting sessions herself and has personally pulled many a weed in our garden plots. All this besides being a member of the Glorious Gallery Committee.

Help with Advertising– Julia Cady was a well loved member of the Gallery Committee for years and still puts in our monthly gallery press on local internet calendars. She is also a member of the Stewardship Committee and bakes delicious cookies for our events! She gallery hosts and is storing boxes of jumble goodies and cuts greens to make our Jumble shop smell like the holidays. Nick Gaskins, of Bing Design is our Vice President and has designed our YSAC web site and the YS open Studios web site for us and updates them with Alex Scott. He designs our Brochures, monthly flyers, banners, 4 ups and ads.

Alcove Gallery Coordinator– Angela Smith is our latest member on the Gallery Committee. She moved to town 6 months ago and immediately started volunteering. Angela bowls me over with her answer to questions she says “I can do that.” And she can.

Art Shorthand Blog– Angela Smith said Yes and now runs our Art Blog.

I didn’t even add in all the volunteers on the Wheeling Gaunt Sculpture Project which is an amazing group on it’s own, with many wonderful partner organizations.

So that’s how a tiny Arts Council can do so many things. You are all appreciated greatly!

Thank you!




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How to Meet Other Artists in 10 Easy Steps

Hi, I’m Nancy Mellon. I’m a mixed media artist. For the past 7 years, I’ve had the pleasure of being the Gallery Coordinator for the Yellow Springs Arts Council. I love living in Yellow Springs and think it’s a great village to be an artist in. This post is about how I started meeting other artists when I moved here.

How to Meet Other Artists in 10 Easy Steps

Maybe not Easy steps (or even 10 steps) but don’t you love titles that promise that?

  1. Talk to people. Walk around the village, when you see a studio, (art in the yard is a good sign) take note, (they are all over the place) when you see the artist out and about, introduce yourself as a new artist in town or another Yellow Springs artist. Ask about their art. Invite them to stop in at your studio sometime or if you work on your kitchen table ask them over for tea.
  2. Ask people:”Are you an artist?” Sounds simple but it usually will start a conversation and you will be surprised at how many will say yes. The meter reader said yes when I asked her yesterday. And it turned out that her Grandmother was a famous artist in our village. Ask the shop sitters or your waiter at a local restaurant if they are artists. Many in Yellow Springs are. Now you know another artist.
  3. Join art organizations in the area. Go to the meetings. When you are there, talk to people.The Fairborn Art Association has great meetings with an artist talk and demo as part of it.

    The Monday Morning Artists meet once a month at the Presbyterian Church in Yellow Springs. Join the Springfield Art Museum and be in their Member’s Show. How cool is that to be in a museum show?

  4. Join an art co-op. I joined Village Artisans when I first moved to Yellow Springs and immediately had 20 artists I knew.
  5. Volunteer. There’s lots of different sized jobs needed to make an art event work. There’s got to be something you would enjoy, have time for and be great at. Believe me, volunteer, show up and help out and you will make friends.
  6. Show up at art openings. Ask to have the artist pointed out to you. Find something in their work to ask them about and then go talk to the artist. Artists are pretty nervous at openings and appreciate questions about their art to answer.
  7. Take local art classes and workshops. Use art opportunities in the village-get your ceramics fired at the YS JBC Pottery, join Arts Council and apply for a show. Put work in the YSAC Members show. Be a Host or a Guest Artist in the YS Open Studios.
  8. Read the “Art Around Town” Section in the Yellow Springs News.
  9. Answer Calls for Artists, bring a piece to add to the show. Many of the local non profits have Calls for Artists and Village Artisans does Community Shows.
  10. Show your art. Do group shows, apply for shows, ask the local restaurants-The Winds, HaHa’s, the Emporium, The Spirited Goat and the Yellow Springs Brewery and the realtor-The Chris K Gallery to get on their list for a show. Talk to people about your show and talk to people when they come to see your show.
  11. Go to the library and get out an art book with a luscious art filled cover, carry it with you, read it and talk about it with other artists you meet in the coffee shops.
  12. Do public art. Bring your art journal or drawing pad to the local coffee shops or to the benches in town and draw or doodle. Paint public murals-sign them, yarn bomb-include a tag on it saying who you are, leave free art around town with a Free Art tag on it with your web site. Talk to the people who stop to talk to you about it. They will.
  13. Start an art group or host a regular live model drawing session at your studio or home or school or at the Arts Council (hint, hint.) Present an art class proposal to the library (they will even pay you for it!) or volunteer to hold an art class for the Senior Center, (they are looking for artists to teach) This is maybe the hardest thing to do. But not impossible. You can advertise in the paper and through the art groups you have joined (like in YS Arts Council’s regular e mail blast.) Or just invite artists you have met and want to spend more time with. You can meet at a coffee shop, at your home, or at a space you scrounge or rent as a group.
  14. When invited to an artist get together or on hearing about open artists’ get togethers- go to them. Show up and talk to people, ask about their art, if they have a studio, what are they working on now.
  15. Wear a name tag. I know it sounds goofy. My husband wanted a gift made for him, a couple of name tags, made out of metal that have magnets to attach them to whatever he is wearing. I got them online, they were not expensive. Make it easy for people to remember your name. Make your name in felt jewelry and wear it in a necklace, or collage it and wear it in earrings or make pins with your name on them and wear them on your hat. In fact cover your hat with pins that make art statements. Be walking art. More than likely other artists will then come up and talk to you.

    So there was a lot of “talk to them” in my list. You probably are thinking, “it is very hard for me to talk to strangers.” It is for me too. Do it anyway. How will they get to be friends if you don’t start a conversation? If you are interested in them you can get a conversation going. What do you talk about? Their art is a great place to start. Ask them if they have any pictures of their art on their phone. Pick out one you like, and tell them why.



Another Yellow Springs Artist

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Influential Women of Yellow Springs

My colleague, John Day, had shared with me a picture of some banners that the city of Athens, Ohio had put up around Memorial Day to celebrate the city’s veterans.  I shelved the idea at the time, as my students were currently invested in a different project. The banners were always in the back of my mind, however, and in October when I contemplated what to do for my unit on the experience of women in U.S. History, I decided to go for it.  The project’s goal was to enlighten students and, via the banners, the community about the parallel nature of U.S. history and Yellow Springs history. I reached out to the Yellow Springs Arts and Culture Commission they were fully supportive of the project. I solicited research subject suggestions from the Yellow Springs Community via Facebook and was overwhelmed by the outpouring of recommendations; I ended up with over 100 names.  By happenstance, Superintendent Basora forwarded an email to the district around Thanksgiving encouraging teachers to sign up for an “Artist and Writer Residence” program offered by the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Long story short, I applied, was awarded the grant and was provided with an experienced artist with a background in education for 3-4 classroom visits, and 1 field trip to the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

    Our artist in residence, Jay DeFazio, came four times over the course of two months and helped students expand their creative thinking and understanding of digital media.  Along the way, the project grew to include the creation of a newspaper article that the students would write to provide context for the woman/group of women researched. After a brief delay, the students’ creations were sent to the printers and were erected along Xenia Avenue on March 8. With the aid of a grant from the Yellow Springs Community Foundation and the unwavering support of the staff of the Yellow Springs News, students’ articles were juried and utilized to create a supplement which was published alongside the March 21 edition. There were so many folks to thank who helped out with the project and it truly was a collaborative effort.  I hope that next year’s crop of students will take up the charge to research those names on the list that were not researched to build upon this year’s work. I am pleased to know that the banners had such and impact on the people of Yellow Springs and encourage all who were affected to let the students know. They will will be on display once more during Yellow Springs High School’s Exhibition Night on Thursday, May 16. Stop by for one last look before they come out again next March!

Link to digital version of the supplement to the YS News:  Here

Link to the non-published student articles: Here

Posted by ysartsadmin in Art Shorthand Blog, Featured, Inspiration, News, Projects