Local artists invited to meet-and-greet Monday to join Homewood Arts Council efforts

The new Homewood Arts Council's mission is to connect local artists to each other and to the community. The organization's next step will be a meet-and-greet event at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb 4. [Note: New date due to the weather.]

All local artists are invited to stop by Bottle & Bottega, 2009 Ridge Road in Homewood.

The organization's founders said they hope to attract artists from all art forms -- visual, media, music, dance, literary and theater. 

The event Monday will be an opportunity for artists to learn more about the organization, share ideas and find ways to get involved.

"This is our coming out party so if you really want to be part of this, jump on board," co-founder Greg Loudon said. 

The organization was formed last year and held two fundraisers, a 0.3K "run" in September and a holiday pub crawl in December, that helped fund the creation of the organization's website, a portfolio-based design by Katie Sullivan. The site is intended to serve as a networking medium promoting artists' work and stimulating collaboration.

The organization hopes to make local arts and artists more visible and to create more mutually beneficial opportunities for artists and the community.

"For a community to really thrive, a vital art scene is really important," Loudon said. "The whole goal is to make H-F a destination place."

The arts help attract people to the community, and while there they do business, said Julie Lawton, arts council co-founder and president of the Homewood Business Association. She sees the two organizations as sharing the goal of supporting a thriving community.

Loudon said that mutual support between local artists and businesses is one of the main purposes of the council. A number of local businesses already support the arts by providing space on walls for visual work and inviting musicians to perform. The council's work will focus on further developing that relationship.

Its next big project is to develop a gallery in downtown Homewood in a storefront on Ridge Road near Martin Avenue. The space needs some work, but Loudon said the group hopes to have an opening event early in February.

In support of arts education and student artists, the gallery will provide a place for local artists, including students, to show their work, he said. 

In addition to Lawton, Loudon and Sullivan, other business and arts leaders involved in the council are Suzy Moore, JR Rose and Michael Goldberg. 

The founding group hopes the numbers of volunteers swells after the meet-and-greet on Monday. 


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