ELLWOOD CITY – For over 70 years, the Ellwood City Art Club has provided a place to learn new things, hone old skills, share with others and meet new friends. Like many clubs and organizations, they are slowly updating themselves after the COVID shutdown.
One of the instructors, Betty Phillippi, who teaches card making, said people are welcome to come visit a class.
“No previous experience is necessary. If you are coming to visit you have to knock because the door is locked while we are there,” she said.
When making greeting cards, creativity is the watchword of the game, and members are encouraged to bring anything that looks interesting and they will know how to do it.
They work on embossing, quilling, shaping, printing, coloring, cutting and sewing. Recently, they learned about iris folding, which is a papermaking technique that involves folding strips of paper into a pattern, much like origami.
There is a $ 3 class fee to cover the cost of materials, and everyone takes home one or more cards each week.
“I was 72 years old before I learned to paint and had done a bit of card making so you could start at any age and have fun. I came to the Art Club seven years ago and I love that and I can’t wait to see more of the class, ”said Phillippi.
Lydia Mansur is President of the Art Club where creativity and the desire to create are all that is needed in informal classes in card making, oil painting and watercolor painting.
The Art Club began in 1948 with its meeting at the home of William J. Kegel, former owner of The Ledger.
It was founded by Kegel, Dr Eugene L. Dineo and George Koscho. They immediately held their first art exhibition in the municipal building, and it was sponsored by the local YWCA. It was a great success with around 100 entries and over 600 people attending the show.
Knowing that they had something the public needed and wanted, they held their first official meeting on February 11, 1952, with Koscho as Chairman, Kegel as Vice Chairman, Mrs. Robert Williams as Treasurer and Ina Ford and Mabel. Kelso as secretaries. . There were 27 members and dues were 50 cents per month.
After January 1953, club meetings were held in various public buildings, private offices, and homes, and this pattern of moving continued throughout its history.
The sixth annual art exhibition was held at the Municipal Building on April 30, 1954, with a charge of $ 1 for four entries. The top prize was $ 15 and the most popular coin received $ 10. As they gathered at the American Legion Building, Dimeo began organ lessons.
In 1973, they held their 25th annual art exhibition in the basement of the Evans building on Fifth Street, which had been a bowling alley.
The organization continued to grow, and by 1981 it had 174 members and moved upstairs to Benjamin Pharmacy on Sixth Street. On its 50th anniversary in May 1998, the members were back in the Evans Building.
His most recent moves have been from Fifth Street to Lincoln High School and now to the Ellwood Area Family Center at 311 College St.
The Art Club features card making with Betty Phillippi from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, oil painting with Joyce Huesay from 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, and watercolors with John Conway from 19 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday.
For more information, Phillippi can be reached at 724-201-0904.