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Art group comes to an end: Group to donate to school art teachers

After more than four decades, the Ironton Artists Association has come to an end.

The Ironton Artists Association was formed 45 years ago to promote art in Ironton and to help artists.

IAA was founded by Pati Payne in 1974 to be with like-minded people to bring local art to the Ironton area.

“There are very few of us left. We’ve all gotten old,” she said. “Some don’t even paint anymore. Just this summer, I bought a house in Florida, so I plan to be a snow bird and be gone from Ironton half the year. So, it just seemed like it was time for it to end.”

The group had rotating exhibits by local artists at the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library, met monthly, held annual art competitions, club Christmas parties, summer picnics, painting classes and workshops, art demonstrations and trips to museums. The group was open to artists across the Tri-State and anyone interested in art was welcome to join the club and display their work.

Payne said that there isn’t the interest in the club that there once was.

“People aren’t interested in art anymore,” she said. “Some schools don’t even teach it, galleries are closing, clubs are closing. Museums are closing.”

Payne said the end of the IAA was sad for her.

“It’s like losing a loved one,” she said. “When I listed everything the club has done for the past 45 years with classes, trips, parties and all the members we have had that have passed away, it just makes me so sad. I’m just going to miss it so much. But time goes on and it is time for a new adventure.”

Payne said before the club disbanded, they found they had $1,200 in their treasury.

“We wanted it to go to a good cause and to help Ironton and to help promote art,” Payne said. So they club decided to donate the money to the art classes at Ironton High School, Ironton Middle School and St. Joseph Catholic School to purchase extra class supplies and needed special equipment.

“We enjoy it so much we want to do what we can to help other people enjoy art,” Payne said.