The Windward Artists Guild is a non-profit, volunteer, member guild, organized in 1960 by a group of Windward artists. Through education, collaboration, encouragement, and exhibitions, the Windward Artists Guild supports and promotes the production and appreciation of the visual arts. The Windward Artists Guild publishes a newsletter which is currently a quarterly effort.
Founded by Gini McCall, Rosalie Prussing, Lucille Cooper, and Bette Decker with the assistance of Juliette May Fraser and David Ash. There were 12 charter members. WAG Began with an exhibit at the Windward Theatre, auctioning art for the benefit of the Castle Memorial Hospital, now Adventist Health Castle.
To this day, the charitable nature of Windward Artists Guild continues. Its main focus today is on funding arts education within the windward Oahu community and throughout Oahu. Each year since 2017, awards of $50 apiece have been granted to art students from all over Oahu via the annual Hawaii State Museum Art Show. Awards are given to encourage their progress as young artists and to allow them to buy art supplies. Prior to 2017, WAG gave grants to teachers on the windward side for art supplies, and prior to those grants, WAG was awarding scholarships to university-level art students. WAG always strives to find meaningful ways to help the community, switching the exact grant-type when needed, but always with the same goal of living up to the mission statement of stimulating the arts. Additionally, for several years, a grant of $500 has been given annually for art supplies to teach artistic expression as therapy at the Women’s Correctional Facility in Waimanalo. Lastly, in our newest project (starting January of 2021), WAG has given a grant of $500 and board members have volunteered their time to establish a new series of art wellness classes for the community. The classes are very affordable, requiring only a minimal fee for participation. They are taught via Zoom by talented local artists to help alleviate the lack of community activities during pandemic times. The classes are possible only because of our partnership with Adventist Health Castle. They have generously helped in many ways to make the community art classes a reality, which is a wonderful return to the roots of WAG’s origin story. It is the hope of WAG that these various charitable activities will help keep our community vibrant and passionate about art.
WAG has also held 1 – 2 exhibits a year, usually one in spring with open application, and one in fall for members. It is in these shows that new artists learn side by side with seasoned artists and great friendships are formed. The guild is a wonderful place to learn the ins and outs of the local art scene, and make friends with the many kind artists who are members of this excellent organization.
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Image for website background courtesy of Cynthia Schubert