Monday, 29 December 2008

Open Door Arts @ Odd Fellows

OPEN DOOR ARTS @ Odd Fellows is about space for the community's creative spirit to thrive...

Since February 2007, 24 exhibits of local art have taken place in this historic 2,400 sq foot building; work by over 500 adults & 300 children has been enjoyed by locals & visitors...Between 1000 to 1,800 people typically stop into each show. Ceramics, sculpture, fine wood furniture, paintings and drawings of all sorts,
textiles & fiber arts, photography, jewelry, and more, each exhibit profiles a unique mix of work by community artists, explores a special focus and is organized independently. "What's happening next??" is now the common refrain.

Here's the background...The Historic Odd Fellows hall was built in 1878 and it served many purposes over the years. By 1961, the building was in bad shape...needing roof, foundation and more. Dr. Preston donated it to benefit 4-H & Artist Warren Zimmer took on its rehabilitation. This set in motion 40+ year era of art in this special space fostered by the Zimmer family. The building was sold in 2003, and the new owner had major renovations plans; differences with Historic review process put things on hold. When a group asked if they could borrow the space to put on a photography show, the owner said yes...and a handful of shows happened in the next couple of years...

In fall 2006, the idea emerged to foster continual use of this amazing space and facilitate an on-going series of community art. The aim was to strengthen the artists community, include younger & older artists in more opportunities and draw wide community interest in local arts--exploring different themes, medium and more. The Owner graciously agreed and OPEN DOOR ART @ Odd Fellows began...FLOCKworks was formed, lights, phone and furnishings set-up and things took off from there...And WOW!

From the willingness of one person to allow others to use