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What's new in various product categories; monthly update.

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The Decorative Arts Collection Spreads the Word

Building consumer interest in decorative painting.

by Shea Szachara (May, 2004)

In 1982 the board of the Society of Decorative Painters (SDP) formed a separate, not-for-profit corporation, the Decorative Arts Collection, Inc. The SDP board also served as the board for this second organization until 1998 when a separate, independent governing board of trustees was formed establishing the DAC as an autonomous entity.

From this point of separation, the governing DAC board has worked to fulfill the original mission to collect, preserve, and display historical and contemporary decorative art of the highest quality. The DAC board also has the task of raising its own operating funds as well as carrying forward the vision of a museum to house its collection. It may surprise you to hear that currently more than 1000 items make up this collection with a total value exceeding six figures.

With a volunteer board devoted solely to this combined mission, tremendous progress has been made in the last several years. Policies have also been put in place to bring portions of the collection to different venues around the country. The first traveling exhibition, The Fathers of American Decorative Painting, took place in 2003 and garnered tremendous accolades and great press coverage for the DAC.

This year will bring to the public A Sentimental Collection of Roses featuring nearly 100 new rose-related works of art that will be part of the DAC permanent collection. A full-color catalog including 24 painting lessons will be released in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition at the 2004 SDP Phoenix Conference May 26-29. This fabulous Roses exhibition will be open for viewing during show hours by anyone attending the Conference. At the close of the Conference, the exhibition will be on display in the DAC Museum in Wichita, KS, where partnership programs with other community museums bring in daily visitors from near and far. In August the exhibit will travel to Columbus, OH to be displayed at the Heart of Ohio Tole (HOOT) show.

In addition, exciting plans are in place for the Roses exhibition, along with more than 60 other collection pieces, to travel to Japan during the coming year. These pieces will travel throughout Japan to more than six major cities including Tokyo and Osaka. In this way, we are sharing the history of American decorative painting while spreading its joys around the world.

Other DAC plans.

The DAC also sponsors a 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.

A multi-level program known as Friends of the DAC offers the opportunity for individuals to become supporters, too. Ideally the funds raised through this effort help defray expenses while strengthening the depth of the art in the collection through major acquisitions, maintaining the art we already have, and aiding in development of programs and exhibitions that stimulate public interest in decorative painting.

The success of the Friends program is vital to the continued success of the mission of the DAC. The goal to establish a permanent museum housing the finest collection of decorative art in the world can be reached with the financial support of everyone who strongly believes 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.

You are encouraged to contact DAC Coordinator Jan Vavra with any questions concerning the Decorative Arts Collection (DAC), the Decorative Arts Collection Awards (DACA), or the Friends program. Call 316-269-9300, ext. 103, email jan@decorativepainters.org, or visit www.decorativepainters.org/main/dac.cfm.

Note: To read previous Category Reports, click on the titles in the right-hand column.



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