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PORTAGE ALLIED ARTS
Until 1957 there was no opportunity to study creative art in Portage. When Mrs. Edythe Holden took up residence here, and it was learned of her excellent qualifications, she was approached to instruct painting classes.
The first classes started in September, 1951, and were held in the basement of the Victoria School. The name 'Brush and Palette Club' was chosen. A year and a half later quarters were rented upstairs in the Krindle Block. At this time the club was fortunate in acquiring Les Paine as additional instructor, and classes in sculpture were added.
Early in 1960, the opportunity of a larger studio on the third floor of the City Hall became available. As well as creative painting, creative pottery was then introduced by Mrs. Lorraine Rae. Later, with the addition of the necessary equipment, wheel pottery was begun.
Other classes offered have been: leather craft, mosaics, wood finishing and upholstering, millinery, flower arranging, art apprecia tion, conversational French and interior decorating.
With the variety of arts and crafts being offered, the club was renamed 'Portage Allied Arts'.
Children's classes in painting and clay were instituted shortly after the organization began, with Mrs. Lorraine Rae and Mrs. Peg Chubb as instructors. Ballet classes have also been held and subsidized when enough interest has been shown, Teenagers have been en couraged with special classes, and they have always been welcomed at the adult classes. One, Lawrence Harrison, who had early contact with the group, went on to graduate from the Winnipeg School of Art, University of Manitoba, and is now professionally engaged in Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin.
Among the volunteer and community projects have been mural painting at the Manitoba School, as well as some classes being given there. The mural in the pediatrics ward in the Portage General Hospital was another project. Backdrops have been painted for Little Theatre, Children's Theatre, S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A., Lions Club, and South port's Timmy Dance. In 1963, Allied Arts assisted in the revival of Little Theatre in Portage, Assistance has also been given in the making of floats for Santa Claus Parades and more recently the Winter Fun Festival, when ice sculpture was sponsored.
Travelling exhibits from the Winnipeg Art Galley, as well as lectures, have been obtained. Members have attended workshops at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and at Clear Lake.