Randy Scholl’s moss covered birdhouse donated to the Wassenberg fund raising auction will be taking place this weekend at the art center.
Randy Scholl’s moss covered birdhouse donated to the Wassenberg fund raising auction will be taking place this weekend at the art center.

What does it mean when 15 percent of a population is over the age of 65? Yes, it means we are living longer, are more active in our later years and that is wonderful! It also means a slowing population growth, which can ultimately stagnate an economy. Van Wert County’s percentage is 17.4 percent. We have been directing our programming to include this demographic and if you have been to one of our events you will see an interesting mix of ages, gender and vocation. We are working hard to become a vibrant part of this community and the statistics of our increased membership, budget and physical space reflect this.

We want this to be a community Van Wert youth want to come home to. We want to create a space where there is something to do for the long term. Van Wert is already brighter on this side of Town Creek bridge. The Wassenberg Art Center is forging ahead and we won’t stop. Will you be on board or watch from the sidelines?

The above illustrates a challenge many communities in our country face, particularly within the rust belt. It can be surmounted, but like raising a child it takes a community. Do you have an idea? How can we grow this forward momentum Van Wert is experiencing these days? Don’t sit down, keep brainstorming, keep the future in forefront. This Friday be sure to stop in and say hi after the first Fountain Park concerts! The Wass will be open until 10 p.m. We will have refreshments, wine and craft beer to quench thirsts after jamming with Papa Doo Run Run!

There are a bunch of birdhouses here! From mortared stone, wine corks, beer caps, paint, collage, moss to decoupage, the vast amount of media is astounding. Come and bid on a truly unique, one-of-a-kind birdhouse that has been transformed into original art. Proceeds help some of that brainstorming mentioned above into reality and we appreciate your support. This year birdhouses will be sold by silent auction here at the art center instead of ArtRageous in Fountain Park as we have in the past. We are so close to the park and downtown take a little stroll and check out the Van Wert Jubilee Flower show!

The recipes are flying and we are getting the artwork ready for the opening reception of the 58th Annual June Art Exhibit will be on Saturday, June 14 from 6–10 p.m. and will be on view through July 6. 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 technologic gadgetry to create a unique one-man-band. Using a looping technique he creates his own sound and has a popular following in Fort Wayne and around the state of Indiana. Other performers will accompany him as well, 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. This was a selective and competitive jurying process. Artists with accepted works should be very proud of their accomplishment. We wish to thank all entrants who submitted work. It often can be an intimidating process.

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!


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. The cost is $35 for members and $40 for non-members.

Also a drawing class taught by Pat Rayman will be starting at 10 a.m. on Friday mornings June 6, 14, 20, and 27 at 10 a.m. Pat will explore classic structure and experiment with alternate drawing techniques. Give us a call if this sounds like something you would enjoy. The cost is $35 for members and $40 for non-members.

Our Vine & Palette for June 10 is full. However we often have a cancellation so, if you want to wine and paint, give us a call. We do have a waiting list. Vine & Palette is also scheduled through July and August so call soon! The evening includes all materials and your first glass of wine. Participants can bring a snack if they wish and a bottle of wine to share. We take care of the rest. Wear a paint shirt or apron to protect your clothes. The cost is $25 for members and $30.

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: info@wassenbergartcenter.org and our website is: wassenbergartcenter.org.