BY PAMELA STODDART
Ridgefield Guild of Artists began in 1974 with 17 local artists who wanted a space to create and exhibit their art. This original group has grown to several hundred members over the past 40 years. Today, the guild is a well-recognized, regional and community-based art organization promoting both the visual arts and arts education.
But, did you know the guild offers much more than a place to hang art? Our current exhibition is “Humor Me,” a light-hearted member show meant to tickle your funny bone. This weekend, we offer two fun events to complement this theme. The guild transforms into a comedy club on Friday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. with “Stand Up and Humor Me,” featuring local comedians Jane Condon and Mina Hartong. Saturday afternoon, Feb. 7, 4pm, Ridgefielder and New Yorker magazine cartoonist and author Roz Chast will be on hand for a book signing.
Each exhibition includes a walk & talk, where selected artists discuss their artistic process, and an artists salon, where artists gather and mingle, bringing back that clubhouse feel of the guild’s early days.
RGA also provides an artistic outlet for the younger members of our community. We offer kids art classes and a multi-arts summer camp. Our studio is a great spot for creative birthday parties and a place for scouts to gain their badges. We also partner with Ridgefield High School to bring an annual student art show to our upstairs gallery.
We have collaborated with the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, the Ridgefield Library and SPHERE, a local nonprofit working with the developmentally disabled. We have an artist in residency program and host a town-wide art walk with the Ridgefield Arts Council.
Each year ends with “Festive Home,” a five-week holiday emporium fundraiser, featuring vignettes created by artists and area decorators. We just celebrated our 10th annual holiday event.
It’s evident we are not just a place to hang art. I invite you to visit Ridgefield Guild of Artists this weekend during our “Humor Me” events and at rgoa.org to discover all we offer.
Pamela Stoddart is executive director of Ridgefield Guild of Artists, a member of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County.