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The Decorative Arts Collection

The best our painters have to offer.

by Shea Szachara (March 20, 2006)

Did you know that within our industry there is a collection of historical and contemporary works of art valued at well over six figures? A recent appraisal of one item alone was set at approximately $35,000. The collection is comprised of more than 1,000 items dating from the late 1700s to the present.

The goal of the DAC Board of Trustees is to one day open a significant museum to house the growing collection. Steps have begun in this direction with the hiring of Andy B. Jones as the DACís first Director. Jones has been a long time supporter of the DAC and served as president of its board for more than five years. Jones, a decorative painter and teacher since his early teens, has a degree in fine art and has a wealth of knowledge about the history of pieces in the collection. It will be a part of his job to be "the voice" of the DAC along with his many other duties.

In its efforts to make both the craft and painting industry as well as the general public more aware of the collection, a series of major exhibits began in 2002. In 2004, A Sentimental Collection of Roses featuring nearly 100 new rose-related works was first displayed in Kansas, then Ohio, and later traveled throughout the following year to six of Japanís largest cities. These works are now a part of the DAC Museumís permanent collection. Additionally, a full color display book including 24 painting lessons was published by the DAC and became an immediate best seller in the painting world.

The DAC sponsors an annual juried art show and competition called the Decorative Arts Collection Awards (DACA). Entries come from across the globe for judging by experts from the decorative painting and fine art fields. Purchase prizes sponsored by industry manufacturers are awarded to the chosen winners and the winning entries become a permanent part of the collection. It is one of the ways, through the donations of these generous corporations, that the DAC continues to add the finest in contemporary work to its collection. This year, the DAC is once again seeking sponsors for this outstanding event. If you or your company is interested in becoming a sponsor please contact andyjones@decorativeartscollection.org.

A recent mail campaign was launched in order to increase museum memberships. This is a multi-level program known as Friends of the DAC and offers the opportunity for individuals to also become supporters. Ideally the funds raised through this effort help to defray expenses while strengthening the depth of the collection through major acquisitions, maintaining the current collection, and aiding in development of programs and exhibitions that stimulate public awareness and interest in decorative painting.

The success of the Friends program is vital to the continued success of the mission of the DAC. Please consider becoming a Friend today so you too may be a part of: The mission of the Decorative Arts Collection is to promote understanding and appreciation of decorative painting by saving outstanding historic and contemporary examples, maintaining exhibitions and providing educational opportunities to the public.

The goal of a permanent museum housing the finest collection of decorative art in the world can only be reached with the financial support of the industry and others who strongly believe that the art form must be preserved, enjoyed, and made available now and for future generations to come. It is the reason that the DAC exists.

Items from the collection can be viewed at the website. Visit www.decorativeartscollection.org. You can view a portion of this collection at the Decorative Art Collection Museum located in Wichita, KS at 393 N. McLean Blvd.

(Note: Shea is an award winning designer, author, educator, and consultant who has been involved in the decorative painting and crafting industries for more than twenty-five years. Begin to Paint, Begin Now, her latest instruction book, was recently released by Plaid.. Shea has held positions on committees and boards of all major industry trade organizations. She is the current secretary of the Board of Trustees for the Decorative Arts Collection, Inc. Shea can be contacted at sszachara@stny.rr.com. To read previous entries in "Kate's Collage," click on the titles in the right-hand column.)



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