GREENCASTLE---- On Friday evening, the Greencastle Arts Council held a meet and greet at Almost Home, as local artists and art aficionados rubbed elbows and talked about how to increase the artistic presence in the community.
Julianne Miranda, the chair of the arts council, said the meeting served a few goals.
"The reason that we brought these artists together is twofold -- first to let people in the community know that there is an arts council and that we're here to serve them," Miranda said. "It was also envisioned as a way to just bring artists together. I've been watching people that don't know each other say, 'Hi, what do you do?' It really lets them know that there's an opportunity for them."
Part of the meeting involved people describing different roles the art council could play. Miranda mentioned that she would like to see the group sponsor events, have artists in residence, promote more public art, and do more in schools.
She also said that the Greencastle Arts Council wants to have events on Fridays, particularly the first Friday of each month, with April 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. upcoming. The event will include drinks, poetry, music and other arts.
"Our mission for these First Fridays is to just give a place for Greencastle artists to come and show their stuff," Miranda said. "The April one has someone reading poetry at the Blue Door. We're very grateful to the businesses that are opening their doors on the first Friday of every month."
Miranda said the group has a broad definition for the arts.
"It's everything from painting and poetry to the healing arts and culinary arts," she said.
One of the people at the gathering was Tzouanakis art teacher Dessa Frank. She said that she would like to see more of an art presence at the schools.
"I'd especially like to work with the council outside of the classroom, Maybe an after school or summer program where local artists or visiting artists can interact with kids," Frank said.
Frank said that as it stands, if she has a student with a strong interest and ability in the arts she has to send them to the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis. She'd like to see some more local options.
"Those Herron classes can get pretty pricey," Frank said. "I think a lot of people would benefit from an option that's closer and not as pricey."
Kyla Scheuermann was another artist at the event. She and Frank began discussing different types of outdoor art that the community could explore.
"Anywhere where there's a blank wall, just get a section and have someone paint it or chalk over it," Scheuermann said.
"You could do that with kids or even adults. Just paint it and leave it up," Frank responded.
Scheuermann, who is a landscape architect who also does a variety of art projects, said that she would like to see
The arts council began in September of last year with open meetings, according to Miranda.
"It really brought people together," Miranda said. "We wanted to hear what people are envisioning for the arts in Greencastle. We know as a council and as a group that the arts are fundamental to a thriving community."
Miranda said the council hopes to act as an organizing force in the community.
"We aren't lacking for talent in Putnam County or Greencastle, we know we've got lots of people. Our vision is to bring people together," Miranda said. "Our vision is to promote the arts."