GRAFTON—Big things are brewing at 34 West Main Street, in downtown, Grafton.
On Saturday afternoon, West Virginia University students, working with the Enactus service-learning project group, visited the future site of the Buffalo Flats Artist Association (BFAA), to help begin renovations to the interior of the building.
“We love it when the students come to Grafton, because they are seeing our visions with fresh eyes,” shared Donna Hart, a local business owner and co-creator of BFAA. “They are always so excited when they come, and that in turn gets other excited.”
The group worked with members of BFAA to clean the area out and begin renovating the inside of the storefront.
“Our good friend Larry Bartosh had a vision for a place where people could participate in the arts, and that is what we hope to accomplish with the Buffalo Flats Artist Association,” commented Tom Hart.
BFAA’s mission is simple; fostering creativity, creating opportunity and building community by supporting, teaching, displaying and celebrating art at any level, and in any form.
“Art is any form of expression,” revealed D. Hart. “We want to hold all kinds of classes in this location, as well as display art. We want to take what the Taylor County Arts Council is doing at Gallery 62 West and build off of that. They have been doing a great job expanding the arts in our area. We will be giving people more opportunities to explore the arts, and broaden their horizons, while honoring Larry’s vision.”
The association’s goal is to foster creativity in the community. They hope to accomplish their goal by holding regular classes and workshops, gallery space rentals, retail sales opportunities and providing a meeting space.
“We want to hold as many different kind of classes and workshops that we can. Nothing is really out of the realm of possibility here at Buffalo Flats,” commented D. Hart. “We are going to have yoga classes and various art classes. We will have a stage set up for musical performances, too.”
D. Hart went on to explain that the building is equipped with a large basement level, and they are hoping to hold workshops down there as well.
“The basement will be useful for workshops in woodworking and metalworking,” said T. Hart.
The Harts also hope to rent the building out for birthday parties, baby showers and even wedding receptions.
“Buffalo Flats will be bringing something different to our downtown area, and will help bring foot traffic downtown, too,” expressed T. Hart. “Not only that, but a scholarship fund will be available to students in the art field.”
The Larry Bartosh Memorial Scholarship, which was made possible through the generosity of Bartosh’s family and friends, has been set up with Grafton High School, as well as the homeschooling program.
“We are really excited to award the scholarship to one lucky student,” commented T. Hart. “Donations to the scholarship fund are always welcome. This is just another way we can honor our friend, who was an accomplished scholar and artist.”
According to T. Hart, the association’s doors will be open during the Earth Day Celebrations held in April, for those who would like to stop by and learn more information about the group and their goals.
Buffalo Flats Artists Association is always welcoming new members. For more information, Tom Hart can be reached by phone at 304-709-2304.