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Jamestown’s art future strong, growing

By Sharon Cox/Art Voices

As the new year opens we look forward to 2014 and months of fine arts activities ahead. Our new calendars are being hung as we take note of last year’s events. The arts in Jamestown are expanding beyond our borders and even our country.

Jamestown Fine Arts Association has grown over the years and continues to expand into modern facilities where adults and students alike can learn how to make beautiful things by hand.

With Taylor Barnes leaving its directorship, her contributions will continue with the new leaders, patrons and members. Barnes has led the organization through some tough times and made very positive contacts. Prior directors left the organization in good standing and she has as well.

It’s something I’ve said over and over: Jamestown has one of the largest arts followings for its size of just about any place in the Upper Midwest. The public school system, middle and high schools and JFAA keep the arts alive for the children and their parents. It is commendable.

Patrons of the arts keep the whole circle of creativity alive. Without financial help and volunteers most of what is available would be limited to schools alone. Those generous souls are absolutely vital for the life of the arts here in town.

Jamestown College had an art program since its inception. As it has evolved and grown, it too has grown and expanded its offerings for students. As it steps into 2014, the University of Jamestown continues to expand and embrace the new while still providing a traditional art education for majors hoping to enter graduate schools of art.

As the new year begins and we think of what new things we can do for ourselves, we think about the arts. Whether you have had a hankering for wood carving, painting, sculpture, pottery or stained glass, it’s offered at one of the facilities we have in Jamestown. If musical lessons, writing or acting is your thing, look to University of Jamestown to try your hand. Some people look at arts as entertainment or not necessary. Anyone who understands how the arts utilize creative thinking, understands the value of structured classes for all ages.

The university also has classes in painting, sculpting, drawing and art history spring semester. To enroll in any of those, contact the registrar. Regardless of where one goes to do art, home, a studio or formal classes, doing some form of personal expression is beneficial for mental health and learning. It is a New Year’s resolution worth doing.

If anyone has an item for this column, please send to Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.