South County Art Association Fund and South County Art Association Founder’s Fund
Exhibits. Education. Community.
Those are the words that Karina Burston, executive director of the South County Art Association, and her five board members – Jeanne Wettlaufer, Mary Meagher, Kristen Greco, Beth Casagrande, and Linda Hufnagel – agree best sum up the essence of the Association.
Founded in 1927, the Kingston-based Association serves an audience that spans the entire state and beyond. The organization hosts shows that rotate on a monthly basis and include members’ works, juried exhibits, and fundraisers/sales. Works of all media are exhibited in themed shows throughout the year. “We try to be well-rounded in what we do,” Karina explains.
Of the members’ exhibits, Kristen states, “It’s very inspiring to see other people’s work and to also get feedback on your own work. This is a home away from home for us,” with Beth adding, “There’s a real sense of community here.”
The Association offers 25 to 30 classes each season in drawing, pottery, painting, photography, printmaking, stone carving, and other media. A 300-plus member organization, it serves more than 1,000 individuals annually through its classes.
“We’re pretty self-supporting in terms of our programs,” Mary says, adding that they also have nine studios they rent to artists. “The Association really does support working artists. That’s been our mission all along, and it’s provided a valuable niche for South County.”
The Association is located in the historic Helme House, with classes offered in an adjoining workshop and studio building. “We’re trying to make the best use of the buildings we have, and our artists really feel a sense of camaraderie here,” Linda notes.
Karina explains that through these endowment funds, “We want to honor our founders and the rich history of the organization in the community. Everybody loves this place, and we’re really trying to build on that sense of community.”
Partnering with the Foundation, they agree, makes sense for them. “The Foundation has a great track record and works with a lot of nonprofits,” Jeanne relates, with Karina adding, “Having and growing the endowment will be an important part of our future.”