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HEALING WITH ART

Locally made art work is on display and being sold at the Art House, 1220 Illinois Ave., this weekend.

By BOB HANSEN - bhansen@newsexaminer.com

People come to the Art House for many reasons. Many came to buy local art and craft works Saturday. The spring sale continues there today.

One of the more enthusiastic of the artists is Enola Delaney, who greeted visitors just inside the doors at 1220 Illinois Ave., next to the Pattern Mill apartments.

The Art House is meant as a healing place, Delaney said. People come there to learn something new or pursue a hobby that they don’t have space for at home. Some have come to find a new interest after the loss of a loved one. In any case, it’s not about competition with other artists.

Jeanne Leonard is one who has developed a new interest. “I took a class from Enola two years ago and I’m hooked,” she said, standing behind a table full of pottery. “It was either build a room on my house or sell.”

Some of her current work is in a form called sgraffito. She makes a clay pot or jar and puts an undercoat of black glaze on it while the clay is wet. Then she carves patterns or pictures in the clay and gives it a clear coat before firing it. The result is pottery with a look similar to an engraved print.

Vicki Johnson is showing many of her crafts and paintings, including painted wine glasses that she and her sister make. They enjoy getting together to do the work.

Nearby, Denver Witt has a couple of his paintings for sale. 

“He surprised us,” Johnson said. “He came to our class and said he didn’t have any talent, but look at this,” she said, showing a painting he made on a raised wooden panel.

Nancy Couch has a display of pottery and alcohol ink tiles. Alcohol ink, she explains, is the same kind of liquid that is in highlighters or markers. The ink can be brushed or dripped onto a ceramic tile. Some tiles have delicate pictures; others are abstractions of color; and she shows one on which she blew the ink across the tile and created a thistle flower.

Crouch also has some clay whistles she made to look like animals. The larger they are, the deeper the sound.

Deb Tate and daughter Alicia display their painting and some ceramic work. One of Alicia’s works is a fantasy of planets and the Northern Lights, mixed in with sunflowers representing Earth.

Karen Ward is showing her paintings as well as counted cross-stitch and crocheting. She’s making cloth yo-yos from small squares of material. 

Delaney is showing mostly pottery. But she’s also proselytizing for the Art House. She has been working with 4-H kids on some of their projects for the fair. Once the young people have learned the skills, they are welcome to come back to the Art House and use the equipment and supplies, just like any other artist or craftsperson, Delaney said.

An outreach of Higher Praise Worship Center, the Art House offers many different classes and interest groups, she said.

For instance, a fiber gathering is scheduled from 2-8 p.m. Wednesday. This session will be about pin looms, like the frames that are used to make pot holders, only larger. The $50 fee includes a frame and the materials to make something. The group will also be involved in crocheting, knitting and weaving, Delaney said.

During open labs from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, people who have been trained can come and use facilities in the Art House, such as pottery wheels and kilns.

On Tuesday evenings and Wednesday afternoons there are painting groups. The Tuesday group is led by Dee Boehmer but is on hold for a few weeks. A new group led by Patty Starr meets 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays over sack lunches.

In all, Delaney said, it’s a place of encouragement.

Local art on sale

The Art Market Spring Sale continues today from noon to 5 p.m. at the Art House, 1220 Illinois Ave., next to Pattern Mill apartment complex. Locally made work by a several artists and craftspeople is being sold.