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16 Community Art Groups Convening at HMA Even before the Huntington Galleries now the Huntington Museum of Art opened in 1952 the vision of the founders was to have a cultural facility to enrich the lives of all the people. To this day more than 60 years later the Huntington Museum of Art continues with this en- deavor as is clearly described in its mission statement The Huntington Museum of Art serves the public as a museum and cultural center and in the greater community acts as a presence and advocate for the areas of arts education and nature. As a cultural center HMA has welcomed artist groups to meet at the museum for years. In fact even before the museum officially opened in November 1952 people interested in art-making experiences were convening at HMA for classes and workshops. With the addition of the Gropius Studios in 1970 and The Walter L. Brown Studios 1976 HMA has been able to utilize the studio space to invite and include area artist groups to gather for meetings and workshops. The relationships HMA has enjoyed with area artist groups through the years has helped to carry out its vision of a cultural center. The Ohio Valley Camera Club the Tri-State Arts Association The Cal- ligraphers Guild and the West Virginia Bead Society all have a long history with HMA. Ohio Valley Camera Club The Ohio Valley Camera Club began in 1958 and was officially or- ganized in 1959. Two people who were instrumental to its beginning were Willis Cook and Corbin Miller. These founders were interested in bringing amateur photographers together for sharing experiences and exploring ideas. It is believed that Willis Cook may have met Ansel Adams with an ensuing friendship. The OVCC was affiliated with the Photographic Society of America a national organization whose stan- dards of excellence were very high. The PSA placed a strong emphasis on teaching and expected its affiliates to do the same. OVCC members garnered many honors from PSA. The Ohio Valley Camera Club has been meeting in the studios at the Huntington Museum of Art for more than 50 years and they are still going strong. Their purpose is to associate for the mutual enjoyment of photography and to encourage the advancement and education of members and non-members in the knowledge and practice of the sci- ence and art of photography. The club has always emphasized growth in individual photography. The club is comprised of everyone from begin- ners to seasoned pros. Currently they meet twice a month the first and third Thursdays at 7 p.m. in Studio 3 with approximately 25 members attending each meeting. The club provides education sessions on vari- ous photography techniques and encourages club members to get out and shoot. For more information about the Ohio Valley Camera Club visit their website at www.ovcwv.org. Tri-State Arts Association Sometimes the most beautiful painting starts out with the simplest of brushstrokes. Such is the case with the Tri-State Arts Association. The Tri-State Creative Art Association as it was originally known held its first meeting on September 20 1953. The Association was formed in conjunction with the now Huntington Museum of Art with the purpose of encouraging and promoting a public interest in and understanding of all schools of art and to create and develop a closer relationship between art and the community. From that first meeting to this day the association now called the Tri-State Arts Association continues to have a positive impact on our region. In conjunction with the museum the Tri-State Arts Association presents a biennial exhibition promoting the work of artists in the Tri- State region of West Virginia Kentucky and Ohio. This partnership has been in place since 1959. Meetings are held the second Thursday of every OTHER month February April June August October and December at 630 p.m. in Studio 1 behind the Huntington Museum of Art. Currently there are 126 members in the TSAA. For more information about the Tri-State Arts Association visit their website at www.tristatearts.webs.com. The Calligraphers Guild After a summer session in 1984 with instructor Michael Thomison at the Huntington Galleries now the Huntington Museum of Art a number of handwriting enthusiasts with a desire to continue the study of calligraphy established the Huntington Calligraphers Guild. How fascinating it can be to watch an artist skilled in calligraphy work his or her magic of thick or thin strokes to create a visual language of music. Handwriting is a visual spatial activity and fosters creativity. When we write were not only memorizing the letters on the paper but also the process and the experience of shaping them. Writing by hand allows a feeling of focused peacefulness. Perhaps it was this common moth to the light syndrome that drew a number of writing devotees to want to continue the study of this leisurely more personal form of communication. The goals and objectives of the Guild are to share mutual interest in and enjoyment of calligraphy to practice the art and techniques of beautiful writing to gather and disseminate information and ideas regarding calligraphy among the Guild membership and to increase the general awareness of calligraphy as an art form. Since the beginning and still today the group has held monthly meetings in the studios of the Huntington Museum of Art. West Virginia Bead Society During the summer of 2002 Poochie Meyers taught the first of several Bead Like Crazy classes at the Huntington Museum of Art introducing off-loom bead-weaving techniques. As the participants began to hone their skills and passion for this art form they decided to form an official group to support one another share new ideas and continue to learn more so that they could in turn teach others. Thus the West Virginia Bead Society was born. It is an eclectic group of bead weavers each with her own vision who meet at least four times a year to share new techniques and to teach newcomers the basics and encourage them on their journey. There are currently nine members most are from the Huntington area but two live in Follansbee W.Va. and one in Key West Florida. HMA graciously provides space for the meetings and honored the group by asking it to participate in the Art on a Limb exhibit at Christmas. Each year new ornaments are added most recently flowers birds butterflies and fish to highlight different aspects of the HMA experience. The West Virginia Bead Society meets the second Saturday of March June August and November. For more information about the West Virginia Bead Society call 304.529.4200. The Gropius Studios are shown in this photo.