arts in the community



Fourth grade students at Richmond School in Willard have their sculpture (which is based on the work of Jean Dubuffet) on display at the Art Junction.


The students did a great job on their cooperative sculpture.  We hope you can stop by to see their work in our local gallery in New Haven.

Richmond Art Exhibition'15



We had a wonderful time at the bead workshop.


Many colors were used in the process of creating polymer beads.


Many new techniques were discovered in the process of creating these beads.


The time flew by as everyone relaxed and enjoyed the process of making beads.


Many colors, shapes, and sizes of beads were made.


It was enjoyable to explore new mediums of art like polymer clay.


A pasta-making machine is a popular multi-purpose tool for polymer clay artists. It is used to create sheets of uniform thickness, to mix colors or created variegated sheets, and to condition (soften) the clay.


Everyone enjoyed exploring new ways to use the polymer clay.


There were many wonderful beads created at the workshop.


Maybe you can join us for a future workshop at the Art Junction!


Fall Workshops


Take a walk with a line…………


Join us for a beginning drawing workshop to learn the basic skills of drawing!

All materials provided!

10:00 a.m. – 12 noon


Ages 6 to 106   Class size is limited to 12.

Cost $10.00 Before 9/1/14     After 9/1/14 $15.00

       Date: Saturday, September 20, 2014




Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 10 am – 1 pm   2 Sessions

         & Saturday, November 8, 2014 from 10 am – 11 am


Discover the basics of glass fusing over 2 classes with Jill Groves.

You will learn how to create beautiful works of wearable art by layering art glass and fusing the glass in a kiln.


Each student will make 2 from the following choices;pendant, pin or pair of earrings.

The first class is 3 hours long. The first hour is

an introduction of art glass, kilns, effects of heat on glass, etc.

The second hour includes instruction on glass cutting and equipment. The remainder of the class

is spent choosing and layering glass.


At the next session, we will add bails, earring wires, posts or pins to our finished pieces.

No experience with glass is required for this course,

which is recommended for beginners.


Cost $30.00 Before 9/27/14     After 9/27/14 $35.00

      Class size minimum of 5-maximun 8


Soap Making Workshop

Instructor Sue Wolfe, owner of Kait-Tana Soaps, will teach & lead participants on how to create 2 bars of soap and a 4oz bottle of lotion.


All materials provided! 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon Ages 6 to 106

Cost $10.00 Before 10/1/14     After 10/1/14 $15.00


Date: Saturday, November 8, 2014

Class size is limited to 12.



Sign Up & Prepay for Fall Classes Today!

for more information call 419-935-3404  

Class Size is Limited

Cash accepted or make checks out to Kevin Casto

*must prepare for Fused Glass Workshop!


Mail your registration to Kevin Casto 802 S. Main St. Willard, Ohio 44890  email

 For more information contact Kevin Casto at 419-935-3404 or email:

The Art Junction is located at 2634 Prairie Street New Haven, OH. Next to the New Haven United Methodist Church.


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! For more information on this or future programs at The Art Junction contact Kevin Casto M.A., Director, at 419-935-3404, email or visit our blog

Expressive Painting -Week 2


We started this painting session by working outdoors on our ever-changing mural.


The idea was to loosen everyone up to the painting process to free their creative ideas.


Everyone jumped into the painting process after our little outdoor exercise.


Participants concentrated on their canvases.


There was a lot of great energy in the studio this evening.


It was great to see everyone jump into the painting process after loosening up outdoors.  I’m excited to see what the following week’s progress will produce with everyone’s excitement.

A lesson in local art history


3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade students from the Willard City Schools visited the Art Junction in November to view the art work of military artist Don Moore, who grew up in Willard and had an exhibit of his work at the local art gallery.


Students viewed the work of Don Moore and were led in a discussion of the artist’s work by the Art Junction’s director, Kevin Casto.

audieStudents viewed many examples of Moore’s work and learned of his influences such as Audie Murphy, whom he recreated in several drawings and prints on display at the Art Junction.


Students had many questions about the artist, his work, and being a military artist.


Students really enjoyed the various images of Don Moore that gave them an unexpected history lesson of the United States through his art work.


The students learned that in 1968 Don left Willard, Ohio for the United States Marine Corps recruit depot at Parris Island, South Carolina. Upon completing boot camp and advanced combat training, he received the military occupation of illustrator/combat artist. Don served 16 ½ years in the Marine Corps before joining the Army in 1984 as an illustrator. Don retired from the military in 1989 with 22 ½ years of service.


Students learned that Don Moore has received many awards for his artistic skill, service, and excellence. His most prized achievements are: induction into the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, knighted into the Order of St. George, and commissioned an admiral in the Texas navy.


Owner and operator of Don Moore Illustration since 1989, Don has had a variety of notable clients, including authors John Carroll, Robert Utley, Steve Wise and Paul Hutton; United States presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush; and the magazines and corporations Armchair General Magazine, McDonnell Douglas Helicopter, the National Park Service, the Institute of Heraldry, and the History Channel.


This was a great opportunity for students to see and learn about an artist who grew up in their hometown and became a very successful artist.


This was a great field trip for the students to see how art is alive outside of the classroom and how they can participate in local art events like this exhibit at the Art Junction.


Symbols of hope


Using the theme of symbols, student members of the Hope Center have embarked on a painting project based on the symbols of the Christian faith.


Students learned how to transfer the symbol onto canvas using a projected image.


Students have been learning how to add detail and texture to the background of their canvas.


After tracing their symbols with permanent marker, students have continued to add texture and layers of color to the background of their canvas.


This has been a fun process for the students at the Hope Center.


This project has encouraged the students to reflect on the symbol and it’s meaning as they add their own input into the paintings.


We are taking a break from this painting project until the holidays have passed.  The students are learning that the process of creating a painting requires patience and develops skills, thoughtfulness and understanding.

Drawing Lab -Week 5


Week 5 began using black acrylic paint with an improvised brayer to add paint with strokes.


This resulted in some very interesting results that were used as a starting point for drawing.

drawing lab #5#1

Working collaboratively, participants created some very interesting drawings.

drawing lab #5#2

One of the problems to work through was to add to what another participant had begun or to ignore what they had done.

drawing lab #5#3

Creative exercises are just that….a project meant to expand boundaries of thinking and doing.

drawing lab #5#4

Craziness leads to fun which leads to new insights into the personal creative journey.

DSCN7225We ended the session with some quick ink wash images.

DSCN7226These quick washes changed up the creative flow of the evening.


Artist Paul Klee expresses the idea of drawing as “taking a line for a walk”.  Participants learned that making a drawing is first about communicating with yourself as they went for a walk this evening in the drawing lab.

A Place for Creatives to Come and Perch


by Chris Breslin 3/11/13

Mercury Studio takes the temperature of Durham’s arts scene.

Unless you’re paying attention, you might mistake the “café work area” of Mercury Studio for another coffee shop, only without the periodic clamor of an espresso bean grinder. When I visited the controlled bustle of the workplace (equal emphases on work and space) this fall, I began to see rhythms and relationships that make this “community-minded coworking space” different from the third spaces in abundance here in Durham, North Carolina.

Near me sat an ER doctor at his personal desk diligently writing a novel. A “home-schooled” teen—which, in this case, deserves scare quotes, as the studio becomes equal parts “home” and “school” on any given school day—works slightly less assiduously through a Mark Twain novel. Later in the day, after-hours studio members drifted in (all members have keys and around the clock access) to work on their passions and/or professions, everyone from videographers to pastors and accountants. Everyone who uses Mercury Studio pays to be a member, and prices vary based on need and use, from the periodic café member to the more dedicated desk or studio member. Some members are full-timers hanging their shingle in the company of others. Others bear a litany of “who-also-______” titles: some who-also pursue a passion, some who-also start to work on the next thing to get them out of the job they hate. Whatever the scenario, they’ve been welcomed into a different way to do it at Mercury Studio, which opened in early 2012.

Katie DeConto helped start Mercury in part because of her first job after college, an office gig that made her wonder if “pushing papers is all there is, you might as well get comfortable,” says the 27-year-old New England transplant. But she relished the fact that her job let her build relationships. “I began to realize what a wasted opportunity it would be not to be able to get to know people who are different,” says DeConto.


Meanwhile, Milligan College friend and trained painter Megan Jones contacted Katie with similar thoughts. “Both of us were realizing the value of a community of people who keep you accountable but also respect the work that you’re doing,” says Jones. Connecting professionals, part-time creatives, and professional artists is especially key for Jones. She says, “Bringing actual artists into the picture elevates the view of artists as professionals and not just ‘art as hobby.'” Non-artists and artists need each other, for they each have something unique to offer the other, says Jones. And artists certainly need other dedicated artists to provide the kind of mentorship and companionship specific to their craft. One of Jones’s early major contributions to Mercury was the vision of professional rapport among like and differently skilled creative professionals.

In this pursuit, Mercury has been true to its elemental namesake: acting as a thermometer and indicating the kind of sea change bubbling up from its surroundings. Without restaurants, art galleries, a major indie record label, and other co-working and creative entrepreneurs around it, the studio might seem like an oddball, either unaware in trying economic times, or painfully idealistic about the desire for people to want to be around each other. Instead, Mercury Studio fits in. It makes total sense in the landscape and dynamic of a city named by The Atlantic as the most creative-class rich metro area in the nation.

Located on the edge of a growing and renewing progressive Southern city, Mercury Studio differs from other small business incubators in that it doesn’t merely serve as a space to get off the ground and then leave, but rather a more stable spot in which to create. Rather than viewing Durham, with it’s affordable cost of living and entrepreneurial spirit, as a launching pad to bigger and better things, many of Mercury Studio’s inhabitants are committed to growth and welfare of their fair Bull City. But ask if Mercury Studio is a “Christian business,” and DeConto shifts in her seat. “This place is so saturated with Christianity that almost everyone knows. We’ve tried to build it on community and grace, concern and consideration of everyone around you. There are no crosses anywhere though.

“It’s very natural,” DeConto says, “all of it flowing out of what we want to be as people and what Jesus might do.”

While half of the Studio houses carrels and café tables and the other half gallery and artist studio space, the entirety bears Jones’s aesthetic touch. Almost every detail of the old storefront, from its repurposed doors-make carrels, to its gallery space bearing the art of a renowned concert poster artist, hints at the intersection of creativity and hospitality that DeConto and Jones have fostered.

In his book The War of Art, author Steven Pressfield says, “The artist committing himself to his calling has volunteered for hell, whether he knows it or not. He will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation.” Mercury Studio is designed precisely to combat this sort of existence. While many artists know and experience Pressfield’s description, these co-workers feast on something more than either the mere proximity of coffee-shop working or the isolation of secluded studio life. Through “art salons,” workshops, and other events, the artists stared criticism and ridicule in the face. The result is something strange and at times downright trinitarian: finding one’s existence enriched and passions flourishing in mutuality. These salons offer critique and interpretation for finished or unfinished work, and have served to raise the water level for local artists. They represent hospitable safe havens from the harsh world of inattentive and often unfair criticism, instead providing room for contemplation and advice. In the past several months, Mercury Studio has begun monthly “Listening Rooms,” events that invite local musicians not only to perform but to receive questions, offer answers, and provide an interactive glimpse into new and often unfinished material.

While Mercury’s doors have been open for a year, Jones and DeConto are excited to see how every new member will change the identity of their experiment. DeConto says she is continuing to learn “. . . the power of giving a person a space to belong without expectation. I’ve seen that in my home, my community, and in my church. I’ve watched the effect on a person who has not previously been given that, being told that they are allowed and accepted and cared for. To get to watch them blossom and achieve things.”


Changes are also indicators to Jones and DeConto that the mustard seed of an idea they planted in early 2012 is growing into something much bigger: a witness of creativity and hospitality to the city around it, a place for workers, like birds, to come and perch.

Denver arts community stirs $1.76 billion in economic activity in 2011


A visitor to the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver spends a Tuesday morning viewing the various works of art. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)

Denver arts community stirs $1.76 billion in economic activity in 2011

By Jason Blevins The Denver Post

Calling his city “the cultural capital of the West,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Wednesday heralded the $1.76 billion in economic activity stirred by the metro area’s bustling arts community in 2011.

Citing Denver as a leader among U.S. cities climbing out of the recession, Hancock joined several hundred arts supporters early Wednesday in celebrating the financial contribution art and culture provide metro Denver’s economy.

“The arts are a huge component of Denver’s appeal. We all know a smart city needs a diverse economy in order to thrive and that includes a robust culture sector,” Hancock told the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts gathering at downtown’s Four Seasons hotel. “The arts and culture are playing a strong and significant role in our economy.”

Arts and culture indeed do more than entertain and educate metro Denver’s residents and visitors. The CBCA’s biennial economic impact report shows that the 310 organizations of the 23-year-old Scientific and Cultural Facilities District — which spans seven metro counties — delivered a direct economic impact of $527 million in 2011, a 36 percent increase over the 2009 impact.

With indirect spending and capital expenditures, total economic activity was $1.76 billion, up 18.4 percent from 2009.  “If any one of our businesses during this period of time had held steady, we are celebrating success. Thirty-six percent increase from 2009: It is the largest economic impact ever recorded in the history of the SCFD,” said Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce president Kelly Brough. “We have a phrase for that in the business community. When we hear numbers like that we say: ‘Shut the front door.’ ”

More than 2 million visitors from outside Colorado toured Denver’s cultural attractions, including the Clyfford Still Museum. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)


Denver’s transition from a gateway to mountain fun into a bona fide tourist destination has been fueled by the metro area’s “cultural renaissance,” said Visit Denver chief Richard Scharf.

More than 2 million visitors from outside of Colorado toured Denver’s cultural attractions in 2011, generating $378 million in spending. “I have to say they all pay taxes, too, that we don’t have to pay,” said Scharf, adding that all but two of the metro area’s top 10 attractions are SCFD-funded.

“We also believe that the brand of the city is built from the ground up,” Scharf said, noting that the sixth annual Denver Arts Week, which kicks off Friday with 250 discounted or free events by 170 metro arts organizations, is designed to help people in Denver understand the importance of the local arts community.

Since its inception in 1989, the taxpayer-supported SCFD has distributed more than $2 billion to metro arts organizations. Since 2001, the district has distributed $424 million to its 310 member groups, including $41.9 million in 2011. Arts, cultural and scientific groups employed 9,354 workers in 2011 — a 7 percent increase over 2009 — with a payroll of $145 million.

$1.76 BILLION: That’s the economic activity in the Denver area’s arts scene — and arts supporters gathered Wednesday to celebrate the financial contribution from art and culture. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows arts, entertainment and recreation employment in Colorado — including jobs in cultural, sports, gaming and amusement venues — is up 2.9 percent this year over last year, or about 1,300 jobs. That compares with about 1.7 percent growth for the state overall.

Arts and cultural event attendance reached its second highest peak ever in 2011, with 14.6 million visits fueled by more than 400,000 visitors at the Denver Art Museum’s “King Tut” exhibit and more than 50,000 attending the Colorado Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.”

Nearly 9 million of those tickets were free or reduced, revealing the arts community’s dedication to “being available to everyone,” said Jack Finlaw, chief legal counsel for Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Jason Blevins: 303-954-1374, or

Art by the numbers

$145 million: Total payroll for arts, cultural and scientific groups in metro Denver in 2011 , up from $131 million in 2009.

50,460: Volunteers who worked at arts and cultural institutions across metro Denver in 2011, up from 42,226 in 2009.

1,500: New arts and culture jobs added in metro Denver between 2001 and 2011, paying $66 million in salaries.

$203 million: Capital expenditures in arts from 2001 to 2011. Attendance during the decade was 142 million, corporate sponsorships were $102 million.

Source: 2011 Colorado Business Committee for the Arts economic study

Read more: Denver arts community stirs $1.76 billion in economic activity in 2011 – The Denver Post