On August 16, 1956 thirteen artists met at city hall in Twin Falls, Idaho. Their goal was to organize an Art Guild of Magic Valley.
The purpose of The Art Guild:
To exchange ideas and constructive criticism and stress individual creativity.
To conduct two exhibits a year, plus participate in other exhibits, such as the County Fair.
To have a state art guild as soon as possible.
To look at possibly having an art gallery in Twin Falls.
The following persons were in attendance at this first meeting: Mrs. Elsie Baker, Mrs. Alton Williams, Jessie DeUting, Betty Evans, Mrs. R. Cunningham, Mrs. R.J. Holmes, Faye Young, Mrs. Elsie Stanfford, Florene Murrey, Mrs. Dickey, Mrs. Bill Wright, Geen Mooney and Mickey Marshall.
A review of old Art Guild minutes, notes and documents revealed the follow highlights:
Purpose: To advance the study, participation and interest in the arts throughout the area.
1957 was the year of the first art exhibit at Grange 31 exhibitors 197 guest
1956 & 1957 involved working with the Fair Board in the development of art building.
The Art Guild was given the use of the Memorial Building at Harry Barry Park for meetings and classes.
In 1957 the Art Club disbanded and asked The Guild to assume its roll in teaching classes and encouraged its members to join The Guild.
Starting in 1957 The Guild was asked to have its members display their work in many area events, business, and public areas; including Sun Valley, Boise, Gooding, Rupert and Twin Falls. Requests for displays in libraries, schools, banks, hospitals, airports and other areas were received.
The Art Guild was very active with the Idaho Arts Association.
The early Guild members contributed to various memorial funds.
In 1958 there was a mention of high school library collection ?
The Guild was very active in hanging art, judging art work, and overseeing the Art Building at the County Fair. Later the Art Guild of Buhl and the Art Guild of Jerome joined in these activities.
In 1958 One hundred and seventy eight painting were on display at the County Fair. In 1959 two hundred and fifty two painting were displayed at the County Fair.
In 1959 there was discussion of having an Arts Corner in the times news.
In 1960 there was action on Art in the Park
In 1962 the Art Guild was incorporated.
Notes written in 1967 revealed discussion concerning the addition of other art forms in Art Guild shows.
In 1972 the Harry Eaton Memorial Scholarship was established.
In 1974 talk of “Art Mart” which was an artist co-op gallery in the old Bon building was read in the early Art Guild notes.
In 1974 discussion took place suggesting decreased emphases on painting as a move to draw new members into the Art Guild.
The early Guild was active in bringing artists to the area so they could show their work and they could teach others.
This is the end of records which I have reviewed; hopefully we can recover more of Art Guild records as time goes by. As the community becomes more aware of the Art Guild additional historic information may surface.
The following is a quote from Mrs. Parry, “The Art Guild has come to the crossing of the roads. Unless we add to and grow and make the best of this opportunity we are not going to survive.”
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