So how often does an artist get official concrete recognition from an exhibit venue? How about, almost never? Every artist who participated in the inaugural exhibit at the Cass County Regional Gallery this year got a certificate from the County Administrator in appreciation of their participation in this event. This came as a most lovely surprise and Cass Area Artists also would like to emphasize how much each artist's participation contributed to the overarching purpose of the exhibit, which was to introduce area artists to the community, offer an opportunity for artists to meet one another, discuss their work, sell their work, and confirm their status as creatives worthy of public acclaim.
We all know how "Rona" has disrupted our lives this year, and it showed up at a most inconvenient time for the Regional Gallery, which had to cut short its 3-month exhibit by half. However, Cass Area Artists is in the preliminary planning stages to do a repeat ("Rona" willing) in 2021. We would like to stress that all Michiana area artists are welcome to participate, and if you were in the first exhibit there is no rule prohibiting you from participating in the second! We will be posting further developments as soon as they happen, but for now let's just say that we're looking at mid-April for our second go-round. Stay tuned--stay safe!
A "paint and sip" party. An unexpected opportunity. A pushy friend. What more could you need (well, maybe determination) to turn your personal art "therapy" into a roaring success? Meet Brenda Cline.
Brenda Cline and Jackie Taylor went to school together from 7th grade on. They were friends throughout their school years. Although they saw each other only a few times since graduation 43 years ago they kept up their friendship on Facebook.
Brenda never thought about painting until she went to a wine and canvas party at her girlfriend Lori's house in the fall of 2017. She ended up teaching herself to paint and then posted paintings every week that she did for her family and friends. Jackie told her how talented she was. When the Cass County Regional Gallery exhibit (managed by volunteers from Cass Area Artists) was being advertised Jackie gently pushed Brenda to bring in a painting for the show. When the gentle pushing didn’t work Jackie did some heavy duty pushing! Brenda was concerned that her work might not be good enough and that the only reason family and friends said that it was good work was because they loved her. How many of us have harbored those very same thoughts about our work?
Jackie finally convinced Brenda to bring a couple of paintings to her office and she would pick one for her to submit for the art exhibit. She brought in 5 or 6 paintings and Jackie asked some of her coworkers to come and take a peek. The coworkers “jury” was thrilled with her paintings!!! The one that Brenda picked to submit was the first one in the exhibit that sold!!!!
Since that time Brenda has gotten more confident and Jackie is still pushing her to take her new “business” seriously. She suggested making business cards, creating a name and logo for her business, and signs. Brenda did all that!! She has been to several shows now at farmers markets, has gotten special requests from friends, family and strangers alike, and her confidence is booming. Jackie also encouraged her to work on a website and now she is doing that. She is beyond excited at the turn her life has taken with painting.
Brenda and Jackie agree that it was God’s timing that brought them back together. Jackie saw the talent Brenda had and also understood her insecurity of stepping out of her comfort zone because Jackie had been insecure like that her whole life. Just goes to prove that even at 59 years old you are never too old to help a friend realize their potential and that friend is never too old to start a new career!!
While this article was being prepared, Jackie asked Brenda how sales had been going. In the time since the gallery exhibit closed prematurely last spring (due to Covid), Brenda has sold 52 paintings!!!! And at a farmers market this summer she had a little boy who wanted to buy one of her paintings but he didn't have enough money so he said he was going to find some odd jobs to do and he would be back at some point to buy a painting. That was special! We'll be waiting to see more of her work when her website is completed.
We just received some new photos from our youngest recipient of a CAA art scholarship, Aiden Pollard. He purchased a set of 10 drawing pencils, a sketch clipboard, three art erasers, a portable pencil sharpener, origami paper, and a leather bound sketch journal to get him on his way to enjoying instructor Sharron Ott's "Art in the Park" classes at Russ Forest Park here in Cass County.
Aiden also keeps Intricate labeled diagrams of origami patterns that he has created himself. After receiving the paper he is now making an assortment of different airplanes with characteristic flying movements. Aiden is interested in science, engineering, and archaeology. He is an avid LEGO creator too!
Cass Area Artists is as excited about discovering all of Aiden's talents as he is to have the supplies he needs to engage in so many different aspects of art. We wish him well in all he accomplishes!
Cass Area Artists is very happy to announce our 2020 scholarship winners. They range from fourth grade to high school seniors and their interests include photography, ceramics, architecture, and just having the ability to stock up on art supplies to work with over the summer.
So here are our winners:
Kathryn Shellhorn, Cassopolis, MI
Aiden Pollard, Cassopolis, MI
Loryn Bartley, Niles, MI
MacKenzie Bishop, Marcellus, MI
Ariana Cooper, Cassopolis, MI
Congratulations to our winners. They will be receiving an award certificate and a check for $50. We were able to provide five scholarships this year, up from three last year, thanks to a significant donation from Terry Proctor, whom I met at a Cass County event this past March. We started chatting about art and one of my paintings which he recognized as a landmark from the area he grew up in. Next thing you know, a donation arrived! So many, many thanks to Terry!
Our 2020 art scholarship program for Michiana youth grades 12 and under is still accepting applications until May 31. This scholarship provides funds which can be used for art education purposes, such as classes or art materials. We usually award three $50 scholarships, but since we recently had a donation to our scholarship fund we will be offering five this year.
The application form is simple to fill out, and it's available for download at the bottom of our website home page or on the "forms" page of the website. No fee to apply, just fill it out and mail to the address on the application. Applicants will be notified by June 15 if they have been accepted.
Due to the unpredictable nature of the current Covid-19 virus situation we have canceled the art intake day on April 25 and the reception on May 2 until further notice. At this time the County Building which houses the Cass County Regional Gallery is closed to the public and we cannot predict when the County Administrator will decide that it is safe to allow the public to congregate there.
Also postponed is the scheduled pick-up day for art currently on exhibit in the gallery. The original pick-up was scheduled for Saturday, April 18, but will not be rescheduled until we get word that it is OK to do that. In the meantime, all the art remains on the walls or in the glass cabinets in a locked and secure condition.
There will be an event notice on our Facebook page with new dates as soon as they can be determined, so keep an eye out for us on the Cass Area Artists page, and check back here on our website News page too.
We sincerely regret the inconvenience to any artists who have work currently in the gallery, but at this point we do not have an alternative. We will contact current artists via email for pick-up information as news becomes available. Thank you so much for your participation, it has truly been a pleasure to feature your art in this space.
Application now available for the next Cass County Regional Gallery exhibit running May 1 through July 31
Our next TOTALLY FREE TO ARTISTS "open art exhibit" at the Cass County Administration Building in Cassopolis, MI will be accepting artist entries on Saturday, April 25 from 9AM to 5PM. Answers to all your questions can be found on this website's "Forms" page or at the bottom of the "Home" page where the complete .pdf file is ready to download. Just click on the appropriate icon to save your copy of the rules, procedures, entry tags, and important dates.
This new exhibit will run from May 1 through July 31 with an artists reception on May 2. If you were a participant in our inaugural exhibit which ends April 17 and would like to be a repeat exhibitor you may also enter this new exhibit with a different artwork.
All artists who were in the previous exhibit are reminded to pick up their work on Saturday, April 18, so we can get the walls patched and painted during the next week and have storage space for the incoming art. Pickup hours are 9AM-5PM.
We're looking forward to seeing the next great collection of art by Michiana artists at the Cass County Regional Gallery!
It looks like MIchiana will be in for some of our famously unpleasant weather this weekend, just in time for the artists to deliver their work to the County Building in Cassopolis, MI for the Cass County Regional Gallery Open Exhibit.
The forecast for Cassopolis on Saturday, January 11 is rain and possibly a thunderstorm. Our alternate date was Sunday the 12th but it looks even worse than Saturday with icy conditions for Sunday, so we're sticking with Saturday as delivery day.
Fortunately there is plenty of adjacent parking and the entryway to the County Building is sheltered. Inside there will also be plenty of room to dry off yourself and your art (it might be a good idea to wrap your art in a plastic bag or other protective material).
If you're curious about the state of the weather at the County Building we will be posting occasional eye-witness reports--nothing technical, just "rain", "heavy rain", "not so much rain" "only drizzle" (you get the idea😂) on Cass Area Artists Facebook "Events" page https://www.facebook.com/events/441205826536043/
We truly hope to see you and your fabulous art on Saturday!
Just like a new baby in the new year, DELIVERY DAY FOR THE CASS COUNTY REGIONAL GALLERY OPEN EXHIBIT is approaching! Committee members will be at the Cass County Building in Cassopolis, Michigan to receive your art entry on SATURDAY, JANUARY 11 from 9 AM to 5PM. Make sure your entry tags are completely filled out and are completely legible--that will make your entry process quick and easy.
If you're not an artist (and even if you are!) WE ARE LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS TO HELP ON DELIVERY DAY. We are finalizing process and procedures at our 6:30 PM meeting Monday at the Cass County Building next to the old courthouse in Cassopolis. These meetings are normally pretty short, less than an hour. If you would like to volunteer, come to that meeting on January 6. At the moment we really need people to transport delivered art from the intake area to either the first or second floor hallway. That way we can tell how much space has been filled as we progress through the day. If you aren’t good with stairs there is an elevator. At the end of the day we will also need people to place all the art in designated storage areas until we hang it the next week. Any questions can be addressed at the meeting. Keep in mind that the County Building doors automatically lock at 6:30, so if you plan to attend please arrive before then. Someone will be at the door to assist you.