Stanly Arts Guild

The Stanly Arts Guild provides a wide range of visual arts awareness and educational opportunities to the community and support for area artists.  Activities include presentations, workshops, a scholarship, shows, exhibits, events and more.  In addition, the guild informs the community of the talent around them. 

–To introduce the public in Stanly County and surrounding regions to the talented artists in the area
–To sponsor educational opportunities for potential artists
–To nurture beginning artists with developing skills in how to promote, display, and market their work

Guild History

The Stanly Arts Guild was formed on November 21, 1963 by a group of local artists interested in promoting art and art-related activities in Stanly County. The Guild objectives were to, “Enable and to encourage those interested in creative arts; to assemble periodically for mutual helpfulness and criticism; and to extend and maintain an interest in arts in the community.”

The Guild immediately held a membership drive, and held its first meeting on February 4, 1964, where they recognized 50+ charter members and elected officers. Bob Amos was elected as the first Guild president. The Guild immediately got to work planning art classes in oil painting.

Guild activities expanded and included field trips to area museums, participation in regional art shows, hosting art shows at Morrow Mountain and Stanly News and Press, bringing in area artists for workshops, hanging art work in local venues and donating work to local nursing homes. Art classes were offered regularly and well-attended. And membership continued to grow, reaching 79 members in April, 1965. Membership cost $6 for an individual and $10 for a family.

A major milestone for the guild was opening the Falling Rivers Gallery August 1, 2007. Guild members scrubbed, painted and created Albemarle’s premier location for one-of a kind works of art, gifts, cards, prints, jewelry, pottery, and more. The gallery is a cooperative sales and exhibit venue, staffed and managed by volunteering member artists. In 2011, the guild established an Arts Center within the Falling Rivers Gallery serving the community with creative and educational workshops, demonstrations, and guild meeting space.

The guild is able to offer its programs and services through the generosity of the Albemarle Improvement LLC, the Stanly County Arts Council, the Grassroots Arts Program of the NC Arts Council, and the citizens of Stanly County.

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