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May 18, 2004 - -10:00 a.m.

The meeting was held at The United Methodist Church of Las Animas and Paintings were exchanged before the meeting got under way. (See picture below)

Then the meeting got underway when members of the Eads Art Guild began by discussing how they got started and eventually got their Art gallery going. They said that they began with just a small group of interested artists who began meeting to paint together once a week. Then they organized an “Art in the park” event and were well received by the community. They incorporated with a name and a logo and applied for a Council of Arts matching grant for $500.00. They matched the grant money and rented a building. To raise money to match funds for the grant, they had bake sales, garage sales and silent auctions, and a chili supper.

Their hours are Wed.-Sat. from 10am to 5pm. Normally, only members are allowed to exhibit. Members meet once a month to discuss business. They meet once a week to paint together and one evening a week to just to get together. They have an annual Christmas show where they allow crafts to be displayed without membership. All sales are charged a 30% commission, which wasf recently raised from 20% to meet expenses. They have theme shows several times a year. It’s difficult for them to schedule volunteers on Thursday. They have a brochure. The town came together recently to help them keep the building open because they discovered that it was important to the community. They will now pay $300.00 a month for the next 7 years.

The Springfield Art Guild is a co-op gallery that charges $35 for the membership of displaying artists. They have been open for one year. They have need of gallery volunteers. They are open Mon. - Sat. from 12PM-4PM. They have a website and a brochure in progress. They mentioned that although would like to sell something everyday, the community seems that they're treated like a museum - people come in and look around but not many actually buy.

The group discussed having several "art markets" throughout the summer. The first will be in Eads at their annual Art in the Park on the Kiowa County Courthouse Lawn on Saturday, July 3rd, 2004. Where artists get together to paint, etc. and show their work. Set-up is at 9AM. There will be some tables available and trees for shade. The day will end at 4PM.

The next "art market" under consideration is during the Crowley County Days in Ordway, July 25 - Aug 1, then during the Bent County Fair, July 31-Aug. 7, 2004. Then the Sand & Sage Fair & Rodeo in Lamar, Aug. 7 - 15 and the Arkansas Valley Fair in Rocky Ford, August 15-17 and the Early Settlers' Days in La Junta, September 11-12 and finally the Fall Equinox Festival in September in Springfield. The group will share the cost of booth space if necessary. They would also like to look into having an exhibit at Bent's Old Fort.

The group also discussed having an all high school show that would be like an open house after school so that parents could see the local talent and start supporting the local artist community.

The regional tourism group has discussed developing brochures by topic to promote tourism in the region. The regional art guild would be very interested in developing a regional art gallery brochure.

At the next meeting the group will discuss organizing a marketing and pricing workshop for local artists. The next meeting will be held at the Artists of the Plains Art Gallery in Eads at 10AM on Tuesday, August 17, 2004.

Artists exchange paintings.