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Arts Collective announces closing
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The Arts Collective of Gays Mills announced recently that it has closed its doors at the Gays Mills Mercantile Center as of April 1.

"A combination of circumstances have resulted in this unfortunate outcome," said treasurer Perry Nesbitt.  Primary among these was the cost of operations, despite careful planning and fundraising, including the successful ‘Arty Party Mardi Gras’ fundraiser in March.

The collective wants to thank everyone who participated in the success of the fundraiser and let the community know how much they appreciate the support and good will of all who made it a success. Members did not want to find themselves in the position again of not being able to keep up with their expenses, and therefore the collective regretfully made the decision to close its doors at the Gays Mills Mercantile Center for the time being.

Since it opened in September 2012, the Arts Collective Gallery produced nine exhibitions, four of these including works by community artisans along with those of collective members. Many local people and businesses supported the endeavor in different ways. Members worked hard to keep the gallery open in addition to producing their art.

The Arts Collective has not dismantled its organization. The group decided to take a break for the time being, but plan to hold exhibitions in the future and continue exploring other opportunities and venues for exhibiting the work of its members and to engage in a variety of creative collaborations.

In fact, the Arts Collective, in partnership with the Kickapoo Cultural Exchange, has applied for a Wisconsin Arts Board grant to produce a ‘Summer Art Camp’ series of classes during this coming summer.  As the grant is written there will be four one-week sessions with a different professional artist from the area each week, offering a variety of media, open to anyone between the ages of 6 to 17 years, for hands on art making opportunities, from mid-July to mid-August, 2014. 

Adults will be welcome to take the classes alongside the youth, but young people's applications will be prioritized. The sessions will be three mornings a week from 10 a.m. to noon, and snacks will be provided. 

The Wisconsin Arts Board will announce their final decisions on these grants by June 2014.  So, if you know someone who may be interested in participating in these classes, keep an eye out for more information in the next few weeks.

Please contact Lila Marmel at 608-624-5269, if you would like more information about this program.