A man with a plan

Main Street Artists' Co-op celebrates fifth season
Jun 19, 2013
Local artists and members of Main Street Artists' Co-op James Smythe, Teri Siewert, Pat Depaolo and Neal Carroll prepare the gallery for the new season.

Steve Lampl, a retired businessman turned artist, had an idea when he moved to Haywood.

Before retirement, he had lived in metropolitan areas with many options of venues to sell his art. He fell in love with Waynesville and moved here with his wife Sandy, also an artist. As most of you know, an abundance of artists reside here in Haywood County.

Steve and Sandy quickly found kindred spirits for friends. The only thing they lacked was a place to sell their art. Steve’s creativity and business acumen worked together to start Main Street Artists’ Co-op (MAC) five years ago. Steve and other local artists can be found as they man their store on Main Street in Waynesville. The store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday from May through December.

This year’s season opened on May 1 with a fresh new look conceived and installed by the artists themselves. The store is closed during the months of January until May so that the artists have the time to create fresh works of art for the new season.

Most of the original 10 members of MAC still display their works. They include Gretchen Clasby (original watercolors, prints, calendars and cards), Jeanne Colburn (collages,  acrylics and cards), George Dixon (color photographs and cards),  Steve Lampl (acrylics oils and cards), Margaret Roberts (pastels and oils), Bill Smith (black and white photographs) and Carolyn Taylor (watercolors, prints and cards).

Sandy Lampl and Sharon Smith, both oil painters, are returning this year. Later arrivals also exhibiting are Crystal Allen (handmade pottery), Chris Amsler (handcrafted silver jewelry), Diannah Beauregard (handcrafted jewelry), Nick DePaolo (pencil, acrylic and oil), Blythe Gabriel (color photography), George Kenny (stained glass), Bob Lucienne (turned wood), Anita Painter (pencil drawings), Terry Painter (handmade pottery), James Smythe (acrylics, pastels and cards), Janice Swanger (animal portrait painter in oils and colored pencil, and cards), Linda Twomey (hand painted furniture) and Kristin VanWynen (color photography and hand woven jewelry).

This year the co-op has four new artists and more to come. Neil Carroll makes hand crafted furniture, Teri Siewert exhibits her encaustics and cold wax, Debbie Skelly has “Gourdeous Gourds,” Britton Buchanan paints in oils, Betina Morgan does pen and ink drawings and watercolor collages, and Jeanne Theodore hand makes quilted wall hangings.

The Mainstreet Artists’ Co-op is a non-profit organization where members share the responsibilities of operating the business. New members are chosen based on the types of arts and crafts presently offered in the co-op so that a balance is achieved by limiting the number of each type of medium.