PENINSULA - According to Claire Schaubel, a long-time officer, the Peninsula Arts Association has been an active part of this community since 1970.
Kenneth Keeler and Barbara Bailey remain from the original founding group of artists. Floyd Rank provided the attractive display risers used to exhibit the artwork at their shows.
The club consists of painters, sculptors, ceramists, stained glass artists, and many other artists that live here on the Peninsula. Meeting monthly on each third Tuesday in various places such as the Picture Attic, the Ilwaco Heritage Museum and now at the Ocean Park Timberland Library, their meetings go from 7 to 9 p.m.
Dues are $15 a year and are due in September allowing members to exhibit their work at two annual art shows in April (for 13 years) and on Labor Day week-end (for 30 years).
Usually held at the Heritage Museum, the April show was overseen by Marge Horner and held at the old Taylor Hotel on Bay Avenue in Ocean Park. The shows include all visual art forms, and the entries are judged by notable art professionals from this region; ribbons and gift certificates donated by local businesses are awarded.
Before entering work in an exhibit, one needs to mat and frame their watercolors, oils, acrylics and prints. Even students enjoy a category and all sorts of crafts fill the tables on the perimeter of the exhibit. A portrait artist is present with their easel for drawing or painting impromptu likenesses.
In 1995, Bob Cook initiated an Art Career Scholarship for Ilwaco High School seniors who are planning on a career in art. This year's recipients are Maija Pederson (interior design) and Nathan Weigardt (architecture). Each was awarded $400 to use in furthering their education at the June 5 graduation. The amount is based upon 20 percent of the profits from the two art exhibits held each year, rummage and garage sales, and a donation jar.
A starving-artist sale will be held July 17 at the Ocean Park Timberland Library that will also give a percentage to this worthwhile endeavor.
Membership has varied from 50 to 75 over the years. A Web site is accessible at www.lbpaa.com created by Robbert Warner, and it features digital photos of the art specialty of each member. Notable members of the organization have included Charles Mulvey, Eric Weigardt, and Betty Helms. Vance Tartar taught calligraphy in sessions for children held at the Heritage Museum. His family gifted his paintings to the Peninsula Arts Association to raise funds.
Since the closure of the Ocean Park Elementary School for remodeling, the organization is looking for a permanent gallery space to hold their art shows and exhibits.
Anyone with suggestions should contact the president, Marilyn Casey at 665-6168, Sonja May, 642-4408, or Barbara Martin, Secretary, 642-5532. A permanent location would allow them even more opportunities to encourage the arts in our community and continue their 34-plus years of existence.