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New director gives DAAG a fresh canvas PDF Print E-mail
Friday, March 15, 2013 12:29 PM

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DELPHOS — The Delphos Area Art Guild (DAAG) has been given new life in the form of an ultra-dynamic, innovative executive director, Shauna Turner-Smith, who is eagerly anticipating opening the doors to the community in early April.

What started as five local artists holding monthly artistic sessions at each other’s homes has developed into a well-structured organization housed in a spacious 5,000-square-foot area of sprawling, open interior which supports classroom environments, large social gatherings, receptions and events, as well as a rotating exhibition space.

The 2nd Floor Gallery, located above the Postal Museum at 339 N. Main St., will be home to offerings of seasonal classes, workshops, art outreach programs, event and exhibition planning and is focused on catering to all individuals in the community.

DAAG’s first class session, a 10-week Beginning Guitar Class for ages 8-12, will be held on April 8 and run through June 10. The class will be lead by Tim Zerkel, a certified guitar instructor, who will teach participants about types of guitars, tuning, chords, picking and information on continued learning. Additional guitar classes will be available in the future.

The guild is a non-profit organization designed to promote and encourage the development and appreciation of the arts within Delphos and surrounding communities. DAAG offers educational classes, workshops and events based on interest of all ages which range from fine arts, fiber arts, crafts, photography, gardening, cooking and more.

For those patrons who have mobility issues and concerns with reaching the second floor of the building to attend sessions, the Delphos Public Library will serve as alternate location for events.

Smith is no stranger to painting interior commercial landscapes with her technical artistry; since graduating from the Ohio State University in 2001 with a B.A. in commercial interior design, she has worked within the realms of architectural and exhibition design. She hopes to share her charisma and ignite the community’s latent enthusiasm.

“I am so excited to be a part of a culture supporting locals who want to share their artistry,” Smith exclaimed.

In addition to drawing on Smith’s expertise, the physical transformation of the gallery and the rejuvenation of the organization has been carefully orchestrated by an astute board of directors, including President Judy Grone, Vice President/Treasurer Olga Rode and Secretary Laura Cramer.

The proverb “From small beginnings come great things” is apropos. Although the guild’s reincarnation is in its infancy, Smith envisions securing a foothold in the community.

“We would like to grow, have our own building,” Smith detailed her vision. “We would like to be in the community a long time.”

There are plans for hosting new public events called “Community Days,” one of which will culminate in 30-100 quarts of soup served in the United Methodist Church’s soup kitchen, as well as anchoring art events associated with annual celebrations ingrained within the community. Artfest, which originated in 2005, is an annual event that is held in conjunction with Canal Days. The event draws many people from surrounding areas and introduces them to an array of visual art.

“The Artfest was very successful,” Smith reinforced. “The community wants to see more high school and new artists.”

Annual membership dues support the organization’s mission and include a 10 percent discount on classes, workshops, exhibitions and shows, invitations to exhibition preview receptions, access to a members-only information page via their website and the camaraderie of other artists and networking within the regional art scene. The cost of a yearly membership ranges from $15 for a student or senior citizen to $20 for an individual to $50 for a family with children under 18 years of age. There are also business/organizational, patron and benefactor memberships, which have additional benefits associated with them and are available for purchase online.
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