Tryon Painters and Sculptors mark 45th anniversary

Published 8:01pm Thursday, August 8, 2013

The third Monday of each month remains TPS’s meeting time, and its 501(c)3 non-profit status has been maintained. Presently TPS has 132 active members and 12 volunteers who serve on the board of directors and run the organization. The composition of the board reflects the membership, which is approximately three quarters trained or professional artists and one quarter beginning, amateur artists.

“We wanted to be a group for people who were just interested in art. They may have never taken a class or maybe they just worked on their own,” Kahn  said of members. “There’s nothing scarier than showing your work for the first time and TPS affords an opportunity for a comfortable and nurturing environment to do so.”

Since the 1970s a close relationship exists between Tryon Little Theater (TLT), the Tryon Fine Arts Center (TFAC), Tryon Arts and Crafts (TAC) and the equestrian community. Sculpture, along with oil and watercolor painting, sketching and drawing and children’s art have been important parts of the organization. In 1980, TFAC acquired, through the generosity of Arthur Farwell and other donors, Binks House, which was an historic home next to the center.

TFAC allowed TPS to use that house for their sculptor’s activities in exchange for renovating the building. This Farwell Annex, aka Studio Two, served wonderfully for sculpting classes and shows for many years. TPS and TAC shared space downstairs and in the back of TFAC for their painting and drawing activities from the late 1980s through the early 2000s. TAC was the first to leave TFAC after purchasing a building at Harmon Field. TFAC needed the rooms then occupied by only TPS and offered them, once again, the use of Farwell House.

The board of TAC then voted to move to a more commercial downtown location to increase foot traffic. In 2010 TPS rented and moved into their present home at 26 Maple St., where they have increased attendance each year. The 2013 schedule includes nine Themed Art and Juried Art shows, five Art Wine and Cheese seminars featuring local artists and six classes or one-day workshops and weekly figure drawing classes with a live model.

Business in TPS’s Gift Gallery is brisk and features all forms of artwork, note cards, handmade scarves and jewelry.

Artist Barbara McComb Thomas joined TPS two years ago but began painting when she was 8-years-old.

“It’s an opportunity to show your work and get support from other people,” Thomas said. “That’s not easy to do as an artist on your own, so TPS really is serving the community by fostering this companionship and connecting artists with the community.”

Tryon Painters and Sculptors invites everyone to visit its gallery and Gift Gallery located at 26 Maple St. just a few steps off Trade Street on Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the group, visit or call 828-859-8322 during gallery.

– article submitted by Gretchen Verbonic (Samantha Hurst contributed to this article)

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