ArtHaus Foundation

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A sound foundation: Children learn the basics of creating exhibit-worthy art.

Photo: ArtHaus Foundation

Port Orange, Fla.
(386) 767-0076
http://www.ArtHaus.org

Objective: To support youths in Volusia and Flagler counties by showcasing student art exhibitions, providing arts education programs and promoting cultural enrichment.

In a Nutshell: ArtHaus is a nonprofit arts education organization that offers art exhibition opportunities and art classes. ArtHaus began as a student art gallery for Volusia County Schools. It features art exhibits open to the public at the Art-Haus Gallery and traveling exhibits in local municipalities, building lobbies and small businesses across the county, and it showcases exhibit photos on its website. ArtHaus also provides opportunities for lectures, workshops, demonstrations and community events.

Where It Happens: ArtHaus is located in a small, bright building in Port Orange, Fla. The building has a student gallery, a gift shop, classroom space and administrative offices. ArtHaus reaches beyond its walls by providing classes at Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Volusia and Flagler counties, summer art classes at a South Daytona camp and art therapy classes at the PACE Center for Girls. Student work is shown at the Daytona Playhouse, Daily Grind restaurant and exhibit sites in local municipalities and building lobbies. Each fall, Arthaus hosts a fundraiser and public cultural experience at its annual street painting festival.

When It Began: ArtHaus Foundation began in 1994 and was named in the spirit of the Bauhaus, a German state-sponsored school of art, architecture and design that operated from 1919 to 1933. Bauhaus formed academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts, and schools of architecture, thus promoting closer cooperation. ArtHaus attempts to further these ideals by uniting artists, teachers, students and patrons through its programs.

Who Started It and Who Runs It: Tim Ludwig, Laurie Gomon Ring and the art faculty at Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange envisioned a new gallery space at the school. That blossomed into a freestanding building in 1996 for the use of all Volusia County students. ArtHaus formed a partnership with the City of Port Orange and the School District of Volusia County to continue the vision of a student art gallery. ArtHaus is operated by two part-time employees, director Gomon Ring and office/gallery manager Catie Tappan. Arthaus also employs six art instructors and has a 21-member volunteer board. It depends on volunteer help, predominantly from local high school students.

Obstacles: ArtHaus originally struggled to find a facility. Eventually, the City of Port Orange offered the current location for free. “There have been a few challenges working in a 40-year-old building, such as the lack of electrical sockets, lighting and storage,” Tappan said, “but we’re grateful to Port Orange for the facility.”

How They Overcame Them: Through generous donations by individuals and corporations, the City of Port Orange and Volusia County, Arthaus has been able to remain in its current location, obtain extra storage space and maintain its building. It still hopes to expand or move into a larger, more up-to-date space in the future.

Cost: Approximately $150,000 a year for ArtHaus and all its art outreach programs.

Who Pays: The principal sources of funds are from grants – from Target, Wachovia Bank, Wells-Fargo Bank, Bright House Networks, the City of Port Orange and the Volusia County Cultural Council – and from fund-raising events.

Who Else Has Kicked In: Many local companies have made membership, monetary and in-kind donations and have sponsored and participated in ArtHaus events, including Root Co., RAYDON, SunTrust Bank, James Moore & Co., and International Speedway Corp. Many members also make donations or provide scholarships for students who need them to attend the classes.

Youth Served: ArtHaus caters to all public school students in Volusia County from kindergarten through 12th grade. Students attending one of the nine area Boys & Girls Clubs have the opportunity to take 10 to 12 weeks of ArtLink – free art classes and the opportunity to show their work at an exhibit. ArtHaus gives free art lessons, focusing on art therapy, to the youths at the PACE Center for Girls, a local nonprofit that helps troubled teenage girls gain the self-confidence and positive motivation needed to become successful adults.

Youth Turn-On: “Many students in high school have exhibited their work in our gallery, which for many can be a life-changing experience as they consider what career path they want to follow,” Tappan said.

Youth Turn-Off: No Saturday classes. “With two part-time staff and not enough funding, we are unable to provide that,” Tappan said. Also, it has space for only one class at a time.

Research Shows: No research studies have been conducted.

What Still Gets in the Way: “We would like to have a full-time staff and larger facility,” Tappan said. “The part-time staff can often become overwhelmed by the amount of work required to run a successful nonprofit, with grant writing, event planning/execution, program management, monthly exhibits to hang and break down, etc.”