5 months ago I moved to an amazing little town 15 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. My location was deliberate. There are artists here.
And as I have walked around town going to pilates, the grocery store and even while snacking at the wonderful eateries here, I kept running into them. It is an amazing little town that Norman Rockwell would have painted. Events such as Wine Walks and Art and Music Festivals fill up the calendar. Finally, after talking with other like-minded individuals, I realized that there seemed to be a need for a new forum that all these artists can call their own. Illustrators, painters, glassblowers, printmakers… all able to come together. To simply talk to each other. Support one another and learn from each other. And then see what could be possible.
So I find myself plunging into a new adventure… am starting a new Artist Guild here in Sewickley. I have had the opportunity to talk to the Director of the Sweetwater Center for the Arts (which is 3 blocks from my new home) and they are welcoming the opportunity to be our permanent host. I am now on the board and I have plan.
The definition of a “guild” is as such….
- An association of craftsmen or artists, coming together in mutual aid in pursuit of a common goal, often having considerable power.
ooh! thats what I like to hear… artists coming together in a powerful way.
Our first inaugural meeting was a few weeks ago. We started off by discussing all the things that could or should be included into our mission statement. Drafts are being prepared now and at the next meeting in January we will finalize who we are and what our vision will be. Feel free to come and contribute.
Having lived near Pittsburgh my entire life, I am always amazed that there are artists that live in and around Pittsburgh that no one knows are here. So every month we will have a meeting. At each meeting we will have a guest speaker…
Did you know there is an illustrator, Phil Wilson, who works for Disney and who is one of the few artists allowed to render Mickey Mouse? Yep, he lives here.
A few blocks away from me is an artist by the name of George Gaadt. He is “king” to us artists that started as illustrators. He was the “official photographer” to the Steelers back in the 70’s. Then, not only did he run around with the team, he illustrated the greats and his work has become iconic. And he was one of the artists that started the Sweetwater Center for the Arts that I am now calling my new “second” home.
Thadeus Mosley is a Pittsburgh sculptor and is currently in the Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum. Only 15 minutes from here.
Then there are artists such as Robert Griffing, who, as soon as he finishes a painting, galleries around the world clamor for his originals and prints. Yep, here too…
George Schill is a humorous illustrator who has worked with American Greeting Cards for the past 30 years, so you have probably already bought his artwork anytime you found a really funny card to send to someone. I collect his stuff… he is hysterical…
Peggi Habets was on the cover of Watercolor Magazine.
Bill Vrscak won the International Artist Magazine International Competition.
At the Artist Guild, meet these artists and many, many others like them. NO membership fee. No limitations on who can attend. You create art? Then you are an artist and you are welcome. This is an open forum and we are here to brainstorm, plan and implement whatever the guild deems important.
I am going to be just a facilitator. Put the artists together and see what happens. But my future vision? Within 5 years I see a group 1,000 artists strong. With sub-committees planning community events, channeling artists into areas of the town and around Pittsburgh and providing the most amazing instructors and mentorship programs. Networking and finding inspiration in each other will always be top priority.
This coming summer I am inviting artists from around the country to teach an intensive “Master Series” of workshops here at Sweetwater. The artists I have always wanted to study with? I have decided to bring them here. It has been an idea of mine for a long time. A few of the first instructors will be Alexander Soukas and Jeff Hein.
As soon as the 2019 summer schedule is finished, there will be announcements. Plan on signing up as soon as possible since these artists are masters of instruction and rarely teach in Pittsburgh.
So if you are an artist, craftsman or instructor, and live anywhere near Pittsburgh, please feel free to join us.
Our next meeting will be Monday, January 28th. 7 pm.
Sweetwater Center for the Arts
200 Broad Street, Sewickley PA 15143
There will be a professional artist “Guest Speaker” every month. Come and meet your neighbors.
We are strong when we unite. Let’s get together and show how powerful we can be.
I am interested but I work from 2 to 10.
hopefully you can catch us sometime or find out what events we will be putting together and be able to participate in those. Our Facebook page is a way to track us right now and soon we will have a website…events will be posted on Sweetwater website as well in the future……stay in touch!
you are a breath of fresh air Christine! Welcome to the Village!
Thanks! so happy to be here!!!! Thanks for all you do for artists…..:)
This is a fabulous idea you are making a reality! I love it!
I am sure you are well connected in the Pittsburgh Art Community, but I can’t help but want to share some names of potential guild members and/or lecturers.
Please send me your email and I will make up a list of great Pittsburgh artists I know that you may want to contact… if you haven’t already contacted them.
yes, perfect! This is taking on a lot of steam in such a little time, so the more help the better. [email protected]
Thanks very much for the inclusion Christine! I feel honored to be among those you singled out! I hope to make it to some of the meetings!
You know I always love to see you Phil. And you deserve to be singled out!!! 🙂
oh Darn, Christine,,,,I should have stayed in Wheeling ..I moved to the pacific Northwest several years ago and have a community of artist frends but what you are doing is exactly what I wanted to do ….you go girl!
Good for you Hilarie….comer back and visit anytime!!!
You are so inspirational, Christine! When God closes doors, He always opens new ones! Keep moving forward. He will direct your paths.
You are so blessed and a blessing to others!
thanks so much! I truly am so happy traipsing down this path. It will be fun!
I love the whole idea of it! Artists tend to isolate themselves for long periods of time.
so true….we need to remember that there are so many of us here and we are interested in each other. The networking opportunities will be huge. Can’t wait to see you! Spread the word….
Love your direction Christine!
You amaze me, Christine! I can’t wait to attend the guild meeting, and Tom and I are looking forward to hosting some of the master artists next summer. Sewickley is lucky to have you!
And thanks for your help! I am so excited about all this…..
This sounds awesome!
This is wonderful, Christine! I was unable to come to the first meeting, but plan on being there in January. Cannot wait!
awesome! We are gogint o have great guest speakers…as soon as I confirm who it will b e for January I will post…..:)
Best of luck with this fabulous new venture, Christine!!
You are the Energizer bunny in human form. You are amazing! Perhaps I’ll see you again on January 28th.
OH I hope so! I have just confirmed that Robert Griffing and John Buxton will be our guest speakers. You MUST come meet Tham and hear them talk about her work!!! 🙂
Definately want to attend, I’m a big fan of Christine and her work. She.s an excellent artist and teacher; a very gracious, kind person.
Thanks for organizing this guild. I would like to join you on the 28th. You may remember me, my husband, Larry, and I came to a few of your exhibits. At the last one he had ALS and was in a wheelchair.
Debbie Maier Jacknin
Hi Debbie. of course I remember you. He was a sweet soul and your daughter is lovely. Your stained glass pieces are amazing! I would love to have you join us! All craftsman, artists and lovers of art are welcome. Be sure to say hello, it will be good to catch up a bit. 🙂
Would love to join you on January 28th.
yes, please do….We are actually scrambling to find a larger auditorium due to expected high turnout- be sure to stayed tuned..