WESTERN KENTUCKY (11/23/13) – The Janice Mason Art Museum and the Southern Kentucky Independent Theatre make up the Cadiz Community Arts Center, which is a 501(c)3 private non-profit member-funded organization. With the main focus of providing the community with arts from Trigg County and other surrounding regions and to promote an environment for people of all ages and backgrounds to help achieve a more personal growth with art.
The museum began in 1998 when a dedicated, like-minded group of people decided to purchase the vacant Historic Cadiz Post Office that was built in 1941. With a generous donation by the David L. Mason Foundation, they were able to purchase architectural plans for the gallery, classrooms and studios and moved into the building in 2001. In 2007, there was merge with the Southern Kentucky Independent Theatre. Made up of 16 board of directors, they believe that all arts should be inclusive, not exclusive.
“We have been in here for almost 14 years,” said Megan Whittaker Nesbit, executive director of Janice Mason Art Museum. “We have one large gallery space and one small gallery space. In our front corner, it is known as our ‘members’ corner, where the members can sign up to have their work displayed for about a month at a time.”
Nesbit said there is a process for those who are interested in displaying artwork in the main galleries. The shows in the gallery go through a selective application process by the exhibitions committee.
“We show a fairly wide range of local, regional, national and sometimes international artists,” said Nesbit. “We try to do one really large show every other summer.”
During the winter, the museum holds shows for kindergarten through high school students. Also, every December the museum hosts its annual Festival of Trees for local organizations. The museum works very closely with local and area schools to provide curriculum-appropriate programs. Students have the opportunity to enjoy hands-on activities. The museum also offers classes for adults such as drawing, photography, painting, pottery, stained glass, jewelry and basketmaking. Students also have the chance to exhibit their own work.
“We will be opening on Dec. 7 for the Festival of Trees and that’s always hugely popular,” said Nesbit. “We sort of kick off the parade here, too.”
Its largest source of funding comes from membership fees. They receive 10 percent of operating dollars from the Kentucky Arts Council through a grant process applied for each year. The museum is not subsidized by any entity, private individuals, local government or foundation.
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Photos by Amber Averitt
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