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“Art allows us to understand who we are and make sense of the world around us. Most of us need opportunities to reconnect to the community and environment so we can awaken and explore the beauty in the world we see daily. Everyone has the ability to create, not everyone has the opportunity.  This is one of the driving factors in the mission of the art Junction,” states Director Kevin Casto.

The art Junction is a community-based art education program designed to bring gallery space, local art exhibitions, lessons and creative opportunities to the Willard area for adults, teens, seniors, and children to learn to create together a better community!  The art Junction is located in New Haven, OH at 2634 Prairie St. next to the New Haven United Methodist Church. The Art Junction has been given the use of the church’s empty parsonage for creative opportunities to help build and enrich the lives of the local community. The Art Junction came into being as a result of Castos’ master’s thesis project at Boston University entitled “How can community-based art education enrich the rural community of Willard, Ohio?” This endeavor, “The Art Junction”, is his attempt to put into practice what he researched, as well as what he has learned from his years as an artist, art educator and citizen, to help enrich the local community.

Art Junction Report  December 2011

 Work was begun in March to clean, update and transform the parsonage of the New Haven United Methodist Church into the Art Junction.  The living room and dining room walls were stripped of several layers of wallpaper, sanded, primed and painted.  They have been turned into gallery space for the Junction.  The old carpet was removed and new was installed.  The study next to the gallery space has been turned into storage and a library.  Also, in December the old refrigerator and stove from the kitchen at the New Haven United Methodist Church was installed in the kitchen at the Junction. The kitchen needs a face-lift/new paint job as well.  The basement was cleaned and has been used for art classes; it awaits a paint job.  The upstairs bedrooms also need painting so that they can be used as classrooms and studio space.  The upstairs bathroom needs to be replaced and renovated.  The downstairs bathroom toilet has been worked on and is in working condition.  This bathroom also needs to be repainted.  Hand railing was installed in the front and back entrances; more work still needs to be done on this job.

The Art Junction held three gallery exhibitions.  The first one, titled “Abstract Values”, was in May and was a show of 4th grade paintings from the Willard City Schools.  The second one, titled “4 Views of Willard”, was in September and was a show of digital photography from students who participated in a digital photography class at the Art Junction.  The final one was “Dimensions of a Decade”, a one-woman show of the artwork of Lynda Stoneham.  We hosted over 400 visitors for these three shows.

The Art Junction also held a number of classes and workshops beginning in July, which included digital photography, landscape art, chalk art, tye-dye t-shirts, non-traditional pottery, a Family Art Day in December, and home school art lessons.  We had over fifty participants in these events.

One of the goals of the Junction is to allow creativity in order to build community. In all of these endeavors members of New Haven United Methodist Church were involved: from working, cleaning and painting the Art junction to being gallery sitters.  This project has been a great outreach to the greater community of Willard, New Haven, and southern Huron County and beyond.

The Art Junction also hosted H.I.P.E., a bi-monthly worship service of the North Fairfield United Methodist Church, which was attended by over 40 participants who viewed the art of Lynda Stoneham and learned of the nature of her work, both spiritually and artistically.  I also spoke at that time, discussing the mission of the Art Junction.

We have had a great start in 2011, and I am looking forward to what 2012 will bring us as we step forward.  Calvin Miller expresses that those who hold any vision too great for them to accomplish on their own must rely on Jesus.  I think this idea has made itself self-evident at the Art Junction this year as the New Haven United Methodist has stepped out in faith in support of this community-based art outreach program.

Kevin Casto

Director of the Art Junction

For more information on participating in these or future programs at the Art Junction contact Kevin Casto, Director, at 419-935-3404,

email theartjuction@yahoo.com

https://theartjunctionwillardohio.wordpress.com

                                                               Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Art- Junction/190323094344714

The Art Junction is a community-based art education program designed to bring gallery space, local art exhibitions, lessons and creative opportunities to the Willard area for adults, teens, seniors, and children to learn to create together a better community! The Art Junction is a ministry of the New Haven United Methodist Church. For more information on this or future programs at The Art Junction contact Kevin Casto M.A., Director, at 419-935-3404, email theartjuction@yahoo.com or visit our blog https://theartjunctionwillardohio.wordpress.com

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