Do you like to draw or sketch? Want to unleash your inner Picasso but don’t know where to go for inspiration and encouragement? Join the art club!
The art club, called the Whetstone Valley Artists, has been in existence since the 1960’s.
Betty Binsfield a charter member who still regularly attends says, “At one time, there was art from our group all over town.” Businesses and restaurants, such as the Lantern Inn, frequently showcased pieces.
The artists meet every Tuesday – the first and third Tuesday at the Visitor Center in Milbank from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. One Tuesday they meet in Ortonville, and the other Tuesday is decided “on the fly,” says member, Joelie Hicks.
Watercolors, charcoal, pen and ink, acrylics, and oils – all mediums are welcome. All artists are also welcome. Each member of the group brings their own supplies and talents.
Some of the artists are more seasoned like Binsfeld, who has showcased her work at art shows in Sioux Falls; others are just starting to discover their talent. Nancy Nelson, the newest member of the club, had always admired paintings done by the artists, but didn’t have the time to join. The freedom of retirement allowed her to start dabbling in paint and items from around her home brought her inspiration.
Other members find inspiration in old barns, flowers, birds, pets, and even old pick-up trucks. A tree was Betty’s muse. Cathy Mueller, of Ortonville, says her travels inspire her art. She was especially excited to start painting after a trip to New Orleans.
Although the members are art cheerleaders and give each other feedback, they don’t collaborate on projects. They have always worked alone. Sometimes their advice is just to put the piece down for a while and come back to it when the mood hits.
Current members include: Betty Binsfeld, Susan Buttke, Joelie Hicks, Cathy Mueller, Nancy Nelson, and Phyllis Sandvol. Stop by Tuesdays to meet the artists or join the group. As Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.”
Top Picture: Joelie Hicks, Betty Binfield, Phyllis Sandvol, Art by Nancy Nelson, Barn by Cathy Mueller