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Exhibit paves way for resident artists
Bethany gets grant for painting classes

April 18. 2013 9:59AM
Right now, an art exhibit in the link between Bethany Home and Bethany Meadows in Brandon features drawings by the grandson of two residents. A future exhibit will feature artwork by residents themselves.

Trevor Guthmiller, Bethany’s director of development, said the entity received a $500 grant from the South Dakota Arts Council to purchase supplies such as paint, canvases and easels to start an art class for residents.

Lacy Kolba, Bethany’s creative director, said she envisions nine people in each class, with four classes, one for each of Bethany Home’s “neighborhoods.”

“The grant meant a lot to us,” Kolba said.

The classes will tap into residents’ creative side, and their creations can be a source of pride as they are displayed. Guthmiller said each exhibit will stay up about a month, and artwork will be returned to residents after it has been displayed. Then they can keep it, give it as gifts, or maybe even sell it, he said.

Guthmiller said staff members will lead the painting classes. Many of them are quite talented, he said. In fact, several weeks ago, an exhibit featuring the photography of several staff members was on display.

This month, ink drawings by Andrew Thacker adorn the hall at Bethany. The pencil drawings show details of sites in New York City. He was visiting the city when he made the drawings, his grandmother, Norma Schmid, said. She and her husband, Bob, are Bethany residents.

After making nine drawings, Thacker gave them to his grandparents as a Valentine’s Day gift. When Norma Schmid showed them to friends and staff at Bethany, Kolba asked if the facility could display them.

The Bethany Foundation had donated many frames and matting for exhibiting displays, so the drawings were mounted and will be on display for a few weeks.

Kolba said she plans to hold an artists reception each time a new exhibit goes up. It will be a good way for the public to meet the artists, see their work, and for the artists to talk about their art.

Guthmiller said there is a tentative schedule of exhibits, which will include residents’ art as well as work by staff and the community. Each exhibit will be on display about a month, give or take. “We want to leave it flexible,” he said.
Bethany activities director Lacy Kolba is looking for volunteers who draw or paint to help with upcoming painting classes at Bethany Home. Although classes will have staff leadership, Kolba said additional helpers could help provide residents with individual attention. To volunteer or to learn more, contact Kolba at or 582-5200.

Norma Schmid, a resident at Bethany Home, sits next to an exhibit of drawings made by her grandson, Andrew Thacker. The exhibit will be on display at Bethany for about a month. Photo by Alica P. Thiele

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