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Artists deserve support

It was announced this week that the Ironton Artists Association is disbanding, after serving the community for 45 years.

Founded by Pati Payne in 1974, the group has organized art exhibits each month at the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library, art competitions, workshops and classes and social events.

We commend and thank Payne and club members for all that they have done and their last act, donating their remaining funds to the art departments of Ironton schools, will be greatly appreciated.

Payne said the decision to disband was made due to the age of the members and a lack of interest in art.

She pointed out that some schools do not teach art and many venues are closing.

It is unfortunate, but a sad fact, that the arts are often dismissed by a good portion of the public as merely a hobby or unserious work.

This could not be further from the truth.

As Pablo Picasso said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”

And a world without art to inspire, provide solace or provoke discussion would be dreadfully dull.

This is why we hope everyone takes the time to visit the options here in Lawrence County, whether it is rotating exhibits at Ohio University Southern or the newly-opened Hutton Wayfarer Gallery in South Point. In addition, there are several venues in surrounding cities, such as Huntington, Portsmouth and in Ashland, where the Paramount Arts Center offers a yearly summer arts camp for youth.

And we hope that someone steps in here in Ironton to take up the work the Artists Association did for so long.

Ironton has a wealth of talent and is worthy of the support of the community.