Monday, July 29, 2019

a next meeting.

After a first meeting intended to create an art guild in Eureka Springs, we held a second at the top of the Crescent Hotel. The balcony at the top of the Crescent is a wonderful place to get an overview of the city of Eureka Springs, so it was the perfect place to sit as we raised questions about the future of the arts.

That (in 1976) was the first meeting attended by Louis and Elsie Freund, Hal Mallet, Henry Menke and JoAnn and Hank Kaminsky. All of these folks became important in the direction of the guild. I should take time to introduce you to each. Perhaps I can do that later.

The first thing we had to do was name the new organization. Henry Menke wanted it to be an organization of the arts which in his mind was something apart from crafts. As a craftsman (and Henry was as well by my estimation) the word crafts in the title was essential to me. Henry wanted to distinguish between crafts and "fine crafts." JoAnn Kaminsky  insisted that the title not be guild of artists and "craftsmen," but "craftspeople." In agreement with JoAnn that "craftsmen" would be viewed as sexist by some we chose to name the new organization "The Eureka Springs Guild of Artists and Craftspeople."

And so with the organization named we began a journey, planned to file papers for incorporation, and then attempted to define the character and purpose of the organization. There were some who wanted the group to be one that would focus primarily on marketing the works we produced. They wanted the group to become exclusive and insisted that folks be juried and approved for membership. They want billboards, also.

There were some who wanted the purpose to be  educational, lifting the quality of our work. Those folks wanted the membership to be open to all. My own purpose was that we had a vehicle in which we could get to know each other, work together on something, build our presence in our community and prepare for the arts to lead in the future of Eureka Springs.

So why is any of this important? There are young people arriving in Eureka Springs, hoping to find places for themselves in the arts. It may be useful to know more about our history for shaping our future.

Today I have friends coming over to help me flip the large table top so I can finish the underside. The photo shows a sandblasted symbol meaning hands working together or the central fireplace at Timberline Lodge. I'd have not noticed it without the guide pointing it out.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning likewise.


  1. I spent many winter weekends at Timberline 50+ years ago skiing and never spotted that design.

  2. The ranger guide said that the designs throughout the building are not actually from native Americans but from the campfire girls. The architect's daughters were involved in that organization. Those kinds of things are not apparent without research and a guide to point them out. With so much to look at in the building, it is easy to miss such interesting details.