The Waupaca Community Arts Center is preparing to celebrate its fifth anniversary.
It will be held Tuesday, Nov. 27 through Saturday, Dec. 1 at the center, located at 200 N. Main St., in downtown Waupaca.
“We will open at 10:05 a.m. all week,” said Jane Haasch, manager of the center and member of the non profit’s board.
She is joined by Barbara Fay Wiese, Dianne Veeser, Anita Golke, Bonnie Beck and Selene Bloedorn-Saeed in making up the board, which oversees the operation of the arts center.
“This place got started as an offshoot of the Waupaca Community Arts Board in September of 2009,” Haasch said. “It became an independent arts center. On May 1, 2012, the Waupaca Fine Arts Festival became our fiscal sponsor.”
Haasch and Veeser were members of the Waupaca Community Arts Board when they came up with the idea to have a place where local artists could have a year-round venue and where people could come to learn the arts.
“We knew a gallery couldn’t make it on its own,” Haasch said. “We asked small arts-related businesses if they were interested in renting space so there would be an income for the arts gallery, and it would not be completely dependent on making sales.”
When the center opened, four businesses rented space – Crossed Wings Collections, Ria’s Reincarnations, Original Links and Lamb’s Quarters.
Since then, Lyrical Hands and Fan River Press have come in, as well as Glacial Acres.
The art center includes a gallery of juried art and also a gallery of upcycled art, which includes items made from 50 percent recycled materials.
A variety of classes are also offered at the center upon request, with a minimum of six people needed for a class.
Classes may be offered in jewelry making, weaving, spinning, watercolor, ceramic painting, knitting and photography.
Veeser offers paint-your-pottery classes, suitable for family get togethers and birthday parties.
“It’s all about promoting art,” Haasch said. “One of the nicer things is the number of seniors who come in and have done art all their lives and come in and do art with others.”
Veeser said, “We focus on the community part of the arts center. It’s a place for people to come and visit with each other.”
On Tuesday afternoons and Thursday evenings, the center is open for those interested in the fiber-related arts, while on Wednesdays, there is open beading.
The arts center will celebrate five years with a number of activities.
On Nov. 27, the center will begin selling paint brush stickers for a $1 donation. The stickers will go on the center’s windows, with all the money raised going to the Waupaca High School arts program.
Beginning on Nov. 28, those who visit the center are asked to donate new crayons, colored pencils, washable parkers, glue sticks, blunt scissors and pencils, which will then be donated to Chain O’ Lakes Elementary, Waupaca Learning Center and Waupaca Middle School.
On Nov. 29through Dec. 1, there will be demonstrations of jewelry making, ceramic painting, slab clay, needle felting, drop spindle and bookmaking. Some will be ongoing.
A rosemaling demonstration will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, and webmaster Dave Blank will talk about designing a website from 1-3 p.m. that same day.
From 3-5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, Ken Dequaine will talk about photography.
Bloedorn-Saeed will celebrate her grand opening from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, as part of the center’s activities.
Other demonstrations will include origami jewelry by Khaled Saeed, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 and watercolors by Sue Atkinson from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.
Those who visit the center Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 will also be able to sign up for a drawing for $25 gift certificates toward classes. The drawing will be held at 4:05 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.
Creating a community
The Waupaca Community Arts Center raises funds through its annual Chocolate Buffet, held on Mother’s Day weekend, and Haasch said October’s first ever Soup From Many Hands fundraiser did well and will become an annual event.
“We’re all about community – giving artists the chance to get their artwork out and for people to experience it,” Haasch said.
The center also supports artists through its quarterly “Meet the Artists” nights.
This year, one of them was dedicated to high school student artists, with plans to continue that.
“We are a catalyst for the arts in the community,” Veeser said.