Wayne Art League welcomes all skill levels promoting art and friendship

  • Wayne Art League secretary Mary Ellen Segraves shares her watercolor-in-progress at a recent meeting.

    Wayne Art League secretary Mary Ellen Segraves shares her watercolor-in-progress at a recent meeting. Courtesy of Lynne Kornecki

Updated 4/30/2021 10:42 PM

At last count, sleepy little Wayne had a 2016 population of 2,429. Yet this quaint town nestled along a shady, 25 mph-only, stretch of Army Trail Road has a very active art league that meets weekly in the equally quaint Little Home Church by the Wayside.

With a paid membership of 44 artists and a maximum membership of 50, the art league welcomes artists of varying skill levels working in all types of mediums.


Once the weather warms, this group can be found drawing and painting outside in local parks, forest preserves, along the scenic Fox River, or in someone's private garden enjoying the plein air approach to their creativity.

Co-president Gloria Snopko has been a member for 16 years. "Anyone interested in art and with the desire to learn more is welcome to join us," she explains. "During the warmer months we schedule what we call 'paint outs' in interesting areas nearby. We also invite well-known area artists to explain their techniques and offer demonstrations. We'll even bring in live models for practice in figure drawing. For those who don't have a current project, we always set up a still life in our meeting room for them to sketch."

Snopko added that they also organize up to four art shows at various locations throughout the year.

The Wayne Art League launched in the 1950s at the Little Home Church by the Wayside, 32W128 Army Trail Road, where it was initially known as the Wayne Art and Garden Club. Somewhere along the line, the garden club aspect was discontinued.

Why join an art league? Most of the members on a recent Monday morning echoed the same sentiments -- camaraderie, encouragement, and support.

"People here are very generous with what they know and are quick to share their tips," said 13-year member Barbara Backley who was drawing flowers from her own garden using a reference photo on her iPad.

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Cindy Mielke expanded on this, saying, "I enjoy the demos and the opportunity to explore something new and to see what clicks."

First-timer, Vadie Schultz shared, "During COVID I was looking for something to do and decided to return to art. It's been a long hiatus since I took classes while in school but I'm glad to get back to it again."

Bunny Holmes, a 20-year member of this group and also a member of the Yellow House Artists, added, "Attending weekly Monday meetings forces us as artists to be productive -- not lazy -- and to stay committed."

Wayne Art League's upcoming shows are: May 1-29 at GreenFields Geneva at 0N801 Friendship Way, Geneva; and July 30 to Sept. 24 at Covenant Living at The Holmstad, 700 W. Fabyan Parkway in Batavia.

Secretary Mary Ellen Segraves sums up, "Selling pieces really is not the primary goal of our shows, but offers a way to share our expertise, build appreciation for local artists, and make new friends -- that's what makes this group so special."

Annual membership fee is $60. For more information, email Mary Ellen at: maryesegraves@yahoo.com. To see more member art, visit www.foxvalleyartbeat.com.

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