Arts & Entertainment

Gallery celebrating 60 years

It's been 60 years since the Allied Arts Association formed in Richland.

A lot of changes have taken place in six decades, some good and some bad, but the organization dug in its heels during the tough times and survived.

To celebrate its anniversary, the members of the association decided to feature the work of 30 artists who've been guests of the gallery in years past.

"We're also going to have a wall of history at this show, which will take visitors through 60 years of our existence," said Judith Loomis, an Allied Arts member.

"We're also going to have a wall that will tell the history of Richland during the past 50 years."

Allied Arts Association was initially organized by Thelma Pearson, an art teacher at Jefferson Elementary School.

That was in 1948. Pearson recruited a handful of other art lovers and together they established a charter, wrote a constitution and set up shop out of Pearson's classroom.

"All of our charter members are gone now," Loomis said. "But the richness of what they established 60 years ago is still very much alive."

The group hung their art in hotels, libraries, doctors' offices and retail stores -- anywhere anyone would let them hang art. The group held its first sidewalk show in 1950, though it was called the Clothesline Show back then, Loomis explained.

Today, that sidewalk show has blossomed into one of the most popular summer outdoor art shows in the Northwest. It was renamed Art in the Park this year.

There will be a reception that opens the anniversary show from noon to 4 p.m. Sept 7 at the gallery at 89 Lee Blvd., next to Howard Amon Park in Richland. Admission is free.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;