Diamond Springs Art Association
by LeeAnn DicksonAutomaker and successful businessman Henry Ford once said: “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” That is exactly what the members of the Diamond Springs Art Association (DSAA) are doing each week. Since 1978, the DSAA has promoted interest in the arts and arranged venues to bring artists and the public together to enjoy paintings and drawings created in the community. “A lot of our members thought they couldn’t paint...like me,” DSAA Treasurer Joyce Becker explains, “but I could and you can, too.” Although the group doesn’t offer formal instruction, veteran painters do take novices under their wings to help them get started and offer support.
On any given Monday and Thursday at the Mother Lode Lions Hall in Diamond Springs, between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., the DSAA holds biweekly painting and “just having a good time” sessions; here, frivolity and camaraderie are in full force. The group, which consists of about 35 members, ranging in age from 55 to 90, knows how to paint and party. “We are a very social group,” explains Spring Art Show Chair Bonnie Valentine. “It’s very good for people to get out and be with others.”
Diane Hooper, DSAA’s president and an oil painter, joined the group after a hiatus from painting and has enjoyed growing her talent to a new level, while also helping other artists. “Sometimes an artist will come in with painter’s block,” she explains, “and with the support of our members we help them overcome it.”
From April 14-18, the group will bring their Spring Art Show—featuring nearly 120 paintings for show and sale—to the El Dorado County Government Center. Although there will be plenty of canvases available for purchase, some artists are so attached to their work, they opt not to part with a painting. “Sometimes too much of my heart is in a piece to let it go,” Hooper admits. “I’ll keep it until I run out of wall space.” The show offers works of all sizes, genres and price ranges. There will also be a drawing for a free painting and prizes for participating artists. “What a great Mother’s Day gift—a one-of-a-kind piece of art,” Becker says.
At each show, the group offers an additional challenge to their members by having a themed wall. This month’s show, for example, has a Western motif. “[It] gets people out of their comfort zone,” Publicity Chair Marilyn Callaway says. “They have to stretch their talent.”
Although you don’t have to be a member to paint during the week, it pays to join to be able to participate in the Spring and Fall Art Shows. “Come and join our group,” Callaway beckons. “[It’s inspired me] to paint more, and the more I paint the more I learn.”
For more information, contact Callaway at 530-672-2302.