The Barn and The Woman's Art Club of Cincinnati
This is the website of:
The Barn — The Woman's Art Club Cultural Center
The Woman’s Art Club of Cincinnati (The Club)
The Club was founded in 1892 by 19 women artists, in response to the Cincinnati Art Club’s refusal to accept female members. Today The Club is more than 250 women strong and is the oldest Woman’s Art Club operating without interruption in the United States. A bit of history: In 1992, our centennial year, The Club moved to its first permanent address at the Pendleton Art Center.
Then, in 2006, in order to raise funds to restore the Resthaven Barn in Mariemont as a Cultural Center, The Club created the Woman’s Art Club of Cincinnati Foundation (The Foundation). The Barn currently provides space for art instruction, art exhibits, artists’ studios, meetings and events. The Barn continues to be maintained and operated by The Foundation as a State of Ohio Cultural Facility serving men, women, and children of the Greater Cincinnati Area.
The PNC Bank Charitable Trust Committee recently awarded $40,000 to the Woman’s Art Club of Cincinnati Foundation from the Josephine Schell Russell Charitable Trust, PNC Bank, Trustee. This grant will support our renovation of the Loft, providing about half the capital required to install an HVAC system in the Loft, according to Rick Koehler, a member of the Board of Directors. “This donation will go a long way to kick-starting the fundraising for the Loft”, said Koehler, a senior project manager for Architects Plus in Cincinnati. He and the Board hope to retain the Loft’s “barn-like” feel for future arts instruction and programming. The extra space is sorely needed, as participation and attendance has nearly tripled since 2011. Use of the upstairs loft is limited due to the lack of adequate heating and cooling.
“To complete all of the work in the Loft, including restrooms, heating and air conditioning, lighting and an elevator, we are looking at a $400,000 project. This donation together with funds already accumulated by the Board, puts us at just over 25% of the way there. Certainly this will serve to boost people’s confidence in our ability to get it across the finish line,” said Koehler.
The Foundation is currently undertaking fundraising efforts to renovate the last, great untapped space at The Barn - the second floor, which served as a hayloft during the building's stint as a working dairy farm.
Our goal is to transform the unused second floor of our 1920’s era dairy barn into a flexible space for art classes, lectures and performance.
The first floor of the Barn has been successfully converted into a thriving cultural arts center, offering two teaching rooms, three rentable studios, and a dedicated art gallery serving area artists and the community. We seek to engage Cincinnatians in the arts through creation (classes, workshops, and summer camps); appreciation (year-round Gallery exhibitions); and education (lectures, demos and presentations).
With a 27% increase in visits between 2014 and 2015, we need to expand our space to continue to fulfill our mission.
The second floor Loft is by far the largest single space in the building at 3600 sq. ft. Thanks to generous donations from:
- The Helen G., Henry F. & Louise Tuechter Dornette Foundation
- The Griswold Foundation
- Helms Charitable Trust
- The Wohlgemuth Herschede Foundation
- Oliver Family Foundation
- Sutphin Family Foundation
- Individual donations from Helen Wessel & Bonnie Rettig
- replaced louvered vents with new energy-efficient windows
- added event lighting and electrical outlets
- brought it into compliance with fire safety code
- repaired the structure of the formerly leaking cupola
- installed four ceiling fans
- sanded and sealed the original fir floorboards
The Loft already is in use for classes and events on a seasonal basis. You can download the progress report here.
After collaboration with ArchitectsPlus, we have come up with a plan to maximize the use of this most unusual “untouched” barn Loft that still retains the winching mechanism for raising and lowering hay bales. The plan is broken into three phases: Heating & Cooling & Insulation (Phase I); Restrooms and Janitor Closet (Phase II); and Elevator for Handicapped Accessibility (Phase III). We are seeking funding to complete the first Phase.
Here's an overview of upcoming Gallery exhibitions:
June 23 - 26: The Barn Painters
Original oil paintings by artists who paint on Wednesdays with Jan Boone
July 2 - 4: Abstraction II
Abstract acrylic works by artists who paint with Fran Watson
July 9 - 17: :...And Then There is Fiber
Fiber arts including fine art quilting, mixed media fiber artists, weaving, doll-making, rug hooking, fabric dyeing, knitting and crocheting in art form by members of the Contemporary Quilt and Fiber Artists (CQAFA)
July 23 - August 7: Mo'Vida
New Works by Dave Laug