After 69 Years of Dedication to Local Art, the Ellwood City Art Club Fears Closure

The Ellwood City Art Club was founded in 1949 with one simple vision – to provide a place dedicated to enhancing art in Ellwood City.

2017 marks the clubs 69th year anniversary, but manager of Dayspring Gifts, member of the art club, and advocate for the importance of art in the community, Jan Keenan, fears the future of the club may not be so bright.

For many years the art club has been using studio space in the Ellwood City High School free of charge for classes and events, however due to changes at the high school they are no longer able to utilize the space and the club does not generate enough money to pay for a studio.

“We only have a few regularly attending members and we’re lucky as it is to be able to pay for supplies – let alone rental space,” Keenan stated. “I think art is such an important part of the community and it would break my heart to see the club close, especially after all these years.”

While the club is currently struggling to find a new studio space, they hope a local business may be able to offer them a reasonable rental space preferably on Lawrence Avenue, in the hopes that a main-street storefront will entice more community members to join the club.

“If we can’t find a reasonable alternative studio, due to financial reasons we will have no choice but to end the club.”

Despite the possibility of closing, club members are not slowing down their art promotion and events.

Recently Keenan had a vision of creating a local-talent coloring book, and now her vision has come to life. The club will be selling coloring books featuring a large array of local artwork.

The cost of the books is expected to be $10, which will cover the printing cost and a small amount of proceed to go toward the art club. The books will provide hours of fun and unique coloring opportunity with an added bonus of several artworks being Ellwood City related.

There is limited quantity and they will be sold at Dayspring Gifts, located on 6th Street, as well as other selected places throughout Ellwood.

For more information about the books, making a donation to the club, or offering a studio space, contact Jan Keenan at 724-752-1512.

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