County arts board has new members, focus

By Leigh Ann Rutledge
Accent Editor

CARROLL COUNTY – The Carroll County Arts (CCA) board of directors has new faces this year.

Officers include: Abbi Bausell, president; Cheri Bell, vice president; Maureen Stoneman, secretary; and Janet Smith, treasurer. Board members are: Natalie Kennedy, Stephen Dowell and Shirley Columbo. Bausell and Stoneman are new to the CCA. Bell, an artist, has been involved with the CCA but is serving her first term on the board. Kennedy, also an artist, is also new to the board of directors. Peggy Baxter is the gallery director.

A new area the board is focusing on is community outreach.

Bausell explained the CCA is sponsoring a project “Recycled Sounds” at the farm, the facility for developmentally disabled adults in the Malvern area near Lake Mohawk. Amery Kessler is overseeing the project, helping the adults make musical instruments.

The project is in its early stages but Kessler and CCA are planning a community event to showcase the works in June.

“We hope to inspire a sense of confidence, collective purpose and wonder for adults with disabilities,” Kessler noted.

Another “community” project is the Picket Pals project. The public art project will boast around 200 “pals” which will be placed around the arts center. The picket pals have been painted by students, seniors, persons with developmental disabilities and members of the public. Many pals were commissioned and represent members of the community, past and present. A celebration with festival-like activities is planned in June.

The Student Art Show is an annual event sponsored by CCA. The theme for 2017 is “I’m Inspired” where students can express what inspires them. Entries will be on display April 30-May 22. An awards reception is planned for April 30 from 1-3 p.m. in the arts center. Awards will be presented at 2:30 p.m. Students artwork will be available for purchase.

Volunteers at the Arts Center are working to bring the arts to the underserved in the community. They can be found presenting and helping with art projects at the friendship center, nursing homes, etc.

Group activities held monthly at the Arts Center include:

  • First Friday Open House/Reception – Held for “Featured Artist of the Month”. Liz Moser, May’s featured artist reception will be held May 5 from 6-8 p.m. She makes rag or toothbrush rugs. She will also be hosting a rug making class in May.
  • Kidz Class – held the third Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. for students in grades 3-7. Younger children can be accommodated if accompanied by an adult.
  • Art for Everyone – Held the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. featuring various classes and workshops.
  • Drop-In Class – Held every Wednesday from 4:30-6 p.m. with Cheri Bell as facilitator.
  • Sweet Pickin’s Dulcimer Group – Meet second Tuesday; beginners, 5 p.m., regular class 6-8 p.m.
  • Woodcarvers Gathering – Meet second and fourth Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Bring carving tools or an X-acto knife. Instructors will provide the item to be carved. They have knives available for sale. The only charge requested is a small donation for gas for the Stark County instructors.

Classes will continue to be held, such as the “Canvas and Cocktails”, jewelry making classes and more.

The board is also open to new ideas. “We would like to see public art in the community, like murals or sculptures,” Bell said. “We want the public to tell us what they want to see. The sky is the limit.”

They are looking for someone interested in instructing knitting and/or crocheting. Volunteers to assist at the center are always welcome.

“If you have a skill, such as a lost art skill, we encourage you to pass your craft on to others,” board members stated. “Contact us, we would love to hear from you.”



Board members encourage the public to purchase memberships with the CCA. The Arts Center is funded locally by donations and memberships. Membership has many benefits, including advance notice to workshops, concerts and programs, subscription to the newsletter, and more. Memberships are available for individual and/or family and business/corporate.

Board members feel they are a “well-rounded board, with everyone bringing something to the table.” The board invites the public to visit the center. Admission is free. A collection of art works are available for purchase.

“If you don’t have a dream, you can’t have a dream come true,” said Bell.

For more information on CCA or to become a member or register for a class, call the Arts Center at 330-627-3739 or visit Hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday and Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday, 1-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center is closed Wednesday and Sunday.

The Carroll County Arts Center is located at 204 W. Main St., Carrollton.



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