Osceola arts group review past year and select new officers

EVART – Saturday evening, the Osceola League for Arts and Humanities studio, with its festive Christmas decor, was the setting for a gala end-of-the-year potluck dinner. More than two dozen artists, craftsmen and guests gathered to celebrate the holiday season, reflect upon a successful year and look ahead to new endeavors and better ways to support area artists and the community. Jim Pylman, league president, addressed the group and outlined significant accomplishments of the past year. A major improvement was the installation of new and larger display windows at the studio funded by the Evart Downtown Development Authority. “The highlight of the year for me,” said Pylman, “was the great success of our first Art and Antiques Show, and we’re already making plans for a repeat in October of next year.” Renee Tolgo, league secretary, added that the first Art and Antiques Show generated a great deal of interest in the league and several new artists have become members. Tolgo also thanked all the volunteers who worked hard to transform the studio into the Christmas Shoppe and those who are on duty during the shop open hours. League officers elected for 2013 are Jim Pylman, president, Joe Tolgo, vice president, Renee Tolgo, secretary and Mary Brininstool, treasurer. A major objective of 2013 is to secure funding for extensive renovations to the back area of the studio, with the goal of adding much needed space for storage and classrooms. Dan Elliott is actively reviewing sources of funding and submitting grant applications. “I’ve already completed one application,” said Elliott, “and we expect to know if we are successful or not in February.” New member Audrey Smith from Evart looks forward to 2013 and being a part of a group of artists. She joined the league after taking a stained glass workshop taught by Renee Tolgo. If you are an artist, keep in mind that the league sponsors a number of programs and activities throughout the year that feature area talent. You may want to explore the benefits of membership. If you’re a budding artist, nurture your creative side by taking one of the league classes in painting, water colors, drawing, stained glass, mosaics and other art forms and crafts. The league Christmas Shoppe, featuring gifts created by area artists and craftsmen, is open until Dec. 21, Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For further information about the league, membership and classes, contact Renee Tolgo, (231) 388-5749  or go to