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R-C’s featured organization of the month is Carson Valley Art Association

by Nancy Hamlett

One of the more visible activities of the Carson Valley Art Association is the art show members sponsor every year during Carson Valley Days. But there is more depth and breadth to the organization that was formed in 1967.

According to Ron Funk, president of this month’s featured organization, the art association has several objectives.

“I think foremost is our desire to promote an appreciation of the arts in people living in the Carson Valley and surrounding communities. But as members, we also want to improve the art that we create, encourage young artists and provide a medium to display art to the public,” said Funk.

With more than 50 members, the art association targets the visual arts. During the monthly meetings, held the fourth Friday of every month at the Minden Medical Center at 1:30 p.m., the association hosts workshops by well known artists who demonstrate techniques and answer questions.

“They are stimulating sessions, and even if the workshop isn’t geared to your specific medium, we have all learned something at each one of them,” said Funk.

Often the members will join together for field trips, or “paint-outs,” as Funk called them.

“We’ll go out and spend the day painting landscapes. It’s a wonderful time to be with friends doing something that we all enjoy doing,” Funk said.

A five-person board governs the association, with various committees and sub-committees aiding them. Funk is joined on the board by Marge Buttles, vice president, Mickie Fowler, treasurer, Barbara Seeman, secretary, and Eileen Merrill, board member. The board meets on the first Tuesday of every month.

“Surprisingly, there is a lot of organization that goes on with an art association,” said Funk. “I suppose it must be due to the amount of activities that we plan.”

In addition to the Carson Valley Art Show, the association hosts an In-House Show in March for members only. This past year they moved the show to Western Nevada Community College, Douglas. Funk said that it was well received.

“Then we hold in In-House Awards Dinner,” said Funk. “This year we recognized four of the founding members of the association at the dinner.”

Every fall, the association raises scholarship money for Douglas High School students who are interested in the arts by hosting another art show. The artists donate 15 percent of the selling price of the art to the fund.

“Last year we were able to provide three $500 scholarships,” said Funk. “But this year, it was only one. Our success depends on the community attending and purchasing the art.”

CVAA charges an annual membership fee of $20 or $25 for a family. A junior membership is only $5, and any student in high school or younger is eligible.

“There is no attendance requirements, and we send out a monthly newsletter to keep members informed,” said Funk. “We try to make the association accessible to as many people as possible.”

Margaret Biggs, who is the chairman of the Carson Valley Days Art Show, said that the June event has been a mainstay in the community for over 20 years.

“This art show is open to all Nevadans and residents of surrounding California counties,” said Biggs. “And this year we are quite excited to have a special presentation of a quilt created by Beverly Byington. It is an artist’s interpretation of The Creation, a poem by James Weldon Johnson. There are 12 panels, with each panel measuring 50 inches by 60 inches, and each one is exquisite.”

Artists wanting to display their work for sale at the Carson Valley Days Art Show can be deliver it to the CVIC hall on Thursday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Friday night, June 11, the art association will host an artist’s reception from 6-8 p.m.

“We will serve hors d’oeuvres, and the artists will be present so that the public can meet them,” said Biggs. “It’s always a well received evening.”

The art show will be open Friday and Saturday, June 11 and 12 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday hours are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Funk added that the artist’s reception is an excellent way for potential members to meet local artists and get a positive feel for the organization.

“Our organization is tending to grow older as the original group ages,” said Funk. “We’re trying to get new members interested with a concentrated effort at attract younger people. It’s very refreshing for young people to join. It’s good for the health of the organization.”

For further information about the Carson Valley Art Association, Funk can be reached at 782-7576. Carson Valley Days Art Show questions should be directed to Biggs at 265-3867.