Detail of a hand-pulled print by Jordi Nagel of New Breman. See the entire piece starting along with 90 others, June 14 at 6 p.m. at the Wassenberg Art Center.
Detail of a hand-pulled print by Jordi Nagel of New Breman. See the entire piece starting along with 90 others, June 14 at 6 p.m. at the Wassenberg Art Center.

A generation of people can be wiped out in myriads of unspeakable ways. It is then their art that speaks for them long after their voices fall silent. Discoveries buried underground, brought to light after centuries of darkness tell us what was. Art is our fingerprint, our retina, our record of existence long after we are gone and what we live for. We all forget the details. Architecture, music, food, fashions, landscaping, and created items fall victim to idyllic ravages of war, by ignorance or by mere inevitable change and those voices slowly are muffled into silence.

The Van Wert Armory had fallen into disuse and was within one week of being plowed silent onto a pile of red dust. That dust held the memories of guardsmen preparing for the possibility of home invasion, community dances where young teenagers fell in and out of love, where young athletes brought their basketball team to sweaty victory within walls filled with echoing cheers. Budding art exhibit traditions were born here, gardeners brought their prized blooms and hundreds of couples celebrated the first day of their journey through life together. This building, so much more than an armory then, once again is much more than an art center today and quietly beats the tattoo of community spirit once again.

This simple renovation project has unleashed a swath of glittering ideas, positive thinking and most importantly, the action to back them up. Like the proverbial ripple in the pond, good momentum cannot be impeded by a weary, bumping log resisting the growing expansion. With that we are leaving no stone mired and reach out to opportunity to fulfill our goals. This small voice within many, strive to better their community, and ultimately their country. Thank you Van Wert. We will continue to make ripples.

Last Friday was the first of many evenings we will be open until 10 p.m. so following the Fountain Park Concerts stop up for a glass of wine or beer and hang out with friends. There will always be something to see here at the Wass. Next concert scheduled is Tom Rigney & Flambeau. Did someone say Zydeco and New Orleans style jammin?!

Thank you to those who bid on birdhouses! We had a very successful fundraising project and from the vast styles, techniques and materials the artists had fun too! You should be receiving notification today whether you won an arty birdhouse.

The 58th Annual June Art Exhibit will be on Saturday, June 14! From 6–10 p.m. We are getting so excited to have Dan Dickerson & the Harp Condition out of Fort Wayne performing this year also to celebrate these awesome works of art. Dan has taken a piano and created a new kind of harp out of the spare parts. It’s electric. He then added a looping technique creating his own sound and is a one-man-band. Dan has a popular following in Fort Wayne and around the state of Indiana. Hoopers and dancing fire will be around, so be sure to check it all out. Our art receptions remain free-of-charge and we are serving gourmet tacos, desserts and will be providing a cash bar. Jurors for 2014 are Lisa Vetter and Paul Seifert of the Art Farm, located in Spencerville, Indiana. Lisa and Paul chose approximately 89 pieces from over 200 entries, representing 70 artists. We wish to thank Van Wert Federal Savings Bank, Taylor Auto Sales and the Van Wert County Foundation for supporting this worthy cause. The exhibit will be on view through July 6.

Summer Camp at the Wass is here! Scheduled for the first week in July, instructor Diane Bendele, a retired art teacher from Delphos will head the Lakota/Sioux themed camp. We will study war ponies and some of the artwork and cultural influences by the first Americans. In addition students will learn about David Humphreys Miller, an artist and Van Wert native who painted and interviewed 72 survivors of the Battle of Little Bighorn. Ages 6-10 will have camp from 10 a.m. to noon and students 11-15 will be scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. on July 7–11. Call and sign your young artist up soon! Cost per student is $30 members/$35 non-members.

Classic Watercolor class continues on Tuesday mornings starting at 10 a.m. This is an ongoing class is taught by Pat Rayman. Persons are encouraged to jump in anytime and the class is sold in monthly increments. $35 for members and $40 for non-members.

Sign up for Vine & Palette soon. July’s event is filling fast and we may just throw in a twist that evening! The evening includes all painting materials and your first glass of wine. Participants may bring a snack and bottle of wine to share if they wish. We take care of the rest. Wear a paint shirt or apron to protect your clothes. $25 for members and $30 for non-members.

For information on exhibits, classes and programs listed on there as well. The Wassenberg Art Center is located at 214 South Washington Street (former Van Wert Armory). We can be reached by telephone at (419) 238-6837, email: and our website is: