Release Your Hidden Artist

Fairfield Arts Council board member Phyllis Gutierrez talks about all things arts with FCAC president Virginia Lacy on the steps of the Century House in Ridgeway.

Local artist Campbell Frost says there’s a hidden artist in all of us. The Fairfield County Arts Council (FCAC) is inviting all those artists to come out and play.

You hesitate to use five-dollar words like “renaissance” when talking about how something has improved or changed, but when we’re talking about the Fairfield County Arts Council, that word seems appropriate.

A transfusion of new blood, brought about by associating with the Ridgeway Historic and Cultural Committee (the presenters of the annual Arts on the Ridge art event in Ridgeway), brought the FCAC back from almost the point of extinction.

Now, the FCAC is a vibrant organization with their collective paint-smeared fingers in several pies, say FCAC president Virginia Lacy and FCAC board member Phyllis Gutierrez.

“We are using community events to create a new excitement for the Arts Council,” Gutierrez said. “This arts renaissance involves artists and supporters of the arts who feel the arts should be an important part of specific community events like Arts on the Ridge and Pine Tree Playhouse. They feel there’s a need for more community involvement in every area of the arts — visual, performing, written, spoken and musical,” Gutierrez added.

This group has provided the volunteer-powered engine that is starting to make art-related things happen in Fairfield County.

Lacy and Gutierrez believe that love of the arts can bring communities together and help revitalize those communities.

“There’s a common factor there, whether it’s your art work, a child’s art, your friend’s or a family member’s art, or art for art’s sake — it brings people together. People will come to these events” Lacy said. “It’s a wonderful way for all people to communicate.”

OK, so arts are good for the community. This is a given. So, why else do you want to be a member of the Arts Council and attend the meetings?

For the experiences, my friends. One of the goals of the Arts Council is to begin a series of art workshops in the fall. FCAC members will be able to take part in these exploratory workshops that are planned for everything from basket weaving to pottery making, as well as explore the paint mediums of oils, acrylics and watercolors.

The FCAC has not left out the scribes among us in their planning, be you poet or prose writer. Virginia Schaefer is in the planning stages of organizing a writer’s group under the FCAC umbrella.

FCAC members who are also artists have the opportunity to display and sell their works in the anteroom of Hoot’s Restaurant in Winnsboro and in other venues.

Besides that, most every FCAC meeting features news of interest to artists and art-supporters, and there’s likely to be a realtime art demo of some sort thrown in for good measure at the meetings.

The new FCAC is determined to see the arts flourish in Fairfield County and the surrounding areas. I urge you to attend one of their meetings and prompt your own hidden artist to come out and play.

Fairfield County Arts Council meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month, at 6 p.m. at the Century House in Ridgeway. For information, call Virginia Lacy at 803-360-0893.