Monday, January 24, 2022

POAC opens Joyce Dillon Studio

| January 4, 2022 1:00 AM

The Pend Oreille Arts Council invites the community to an open house for the Joyce Dillon Studio on Friday, Jan. 7.

The event will be held from 5-7 p.m. upstairs in the Music Conservatory, 110 Main St., Sandpoint.

Upon her passing in summer of 2020, Dillon willed portions of her estate to multiple local nonprofits, including the arts council. Carol Deaner, POAC board president, with the rest of the POAC board and staff aspired to find the perfect use for Dillon's generous donation. They wanted to find a use that spoke to POAC's mission and honor Dillon, which is where the Joyce Dillon Studio concept was born. 

"One of her last wishes was to help POAC continue its mission of providing artistic and cultural opportunities for the citizens of our community," Deaner said. "The first step of this wish is the establishment of a classroom/studio where local artists and students, both young and old, can continue expanding their artistic endeavors." 

A space upstairs in the Music Conservatory building was designated as a classroom, and renovations began. During construction, the JDS committee was born. POAC Board member Jan Rust took charge of the committee and enthusiastically dove into the project. 

Patricia Ragone, JDS committee member and local artist, was among those involved in the early planning stages.

"I was honored to help in the creation of the JDS. The creation, in my opinion, was for the friends and family of Joyce Dillon. It's the recognition that even though death has taken Joyce's physical presence, she will live on in the spirit of her namesake," Ragone said on being part of the committee.

Their task was to find instructors, build a class catalog, and ensure that students would get the most out of POAC's offerings.

"Since retirement, I have traveled all over the country to take art classes and workshops. It has enhanced my life so much I want others to enjoy similar experiences right here in Sandpoint," said Rust. 

Consistent with POAC's mission and Dillon's desire to help the community, the JDS committee aspires to make art classes accessible to everyone. Classes are designed to be affordable, with pricing dependent on class length. 

"Practicing artists along with brand new artists should feel welcome. The schedule, the content, and the learning opportunities are so diverse that everyone should be able to find the perfect experience," said Rust. 

Pulling from POAC's artist member list, the JDS committee recruited instructors who would provide a wide variety of courses. Offerings range from polymer clay sculpting to wildlife photography. The course catalog will go live on Thursday, Jan. 6 at: 

Barry Burgess, who is teaching “Drawing as a Creative Process”, had this to say to potential students: " You've read enough books, clicked the bait, Googled, Facebooked, and Twittered yourself into insomnia. The JDS studio at POAC offers the place for artists to gather, learn, share, and most importantly - to DO their art. The fine new facility is open for the aspiring artist within to find the creative spirit you know lives in your bones. Now is the time to liberate your inspiration and search out that Bohemian you know is inside and join the JDS studio." 

During the open house, visitors can explore the class catalog and learn how to sign-up for courses while enjoying a glass of complimentary wine.

Information: Pend Oreille Arts Council,

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