Most Viewed Stories
Tehama County Arts Council looks to focus on Corning
Marti Syed's home is a veritable art gallery.
Located in one of Corning's historical houses at northeast corner of Solano Street and Marguerite Avenue, the 98-year-old Meuser House was once the home of Dr. Arthur Meuser and his wife, Evelyn, who was a nurse.
The colonial plantation-style, 10,000 square-foot structure designed by head of the Architectural Department of University of California, Los Angeles, and purchased by Syed and her husband in March 2003, is full of original art work created by artists from all over the world.
That created the perfect setting for the Tehama County Arts Council to host the Corning Chamber of Commerce sponsored Corning in the Evening on Thursday.
"We have been looking for opportunities to reach out to Corning," said Melissa Mendonca, director of the Arts Council. "We hold several popular events in Red Bluff, but we want to expand our art apprec ation into this community."
The non-profit organization main focus is to support and highlight the arts in Tehama County.
"But we also give away a lot of money," Mendonca said. "We hold fundraisers and use those funds to provide grants to schools and local art endeavors."
Each year the arts council brings the Missoula Children's Theatre's week-long residency to Tehama County, annual student art contest, Red Bluff Downtown Historic ArtWalk, art exhibits, film experiences at the State Theater in Red Bluff, and other art-related projects.
"We would like to create some partnerships here in Corning where we can hold some of the same types of events," Mendonca stated. "Events that bring people into the downtown, giving them an opportunity to mill around, visit with each other and appreciate the arts."
She said the arts council would be very interested in holding an artwalk in the community if they can find a local partner, or better yet, several partners.
"We are interested in growing here. We are small, but we are mighty. The art council would like to see more membership from the Corning community. We know for a fact there are some extraordinary artists in this area," Mendonca commented.
This year's the winner of the art council's student art contest was Omar Hernandez, a student at Corning High School.
"We are about all of the arts. Dancing, theater, sculpture, music, and more," explained the art director.
One of the sculptors who has been highlighted by the arts council is Corning's own Andy Freeman.
Mendonca stated her appreciation to Syed for allowing her art gallery-like home to be used for the council's Corning in the Evening event.
"Art sets this home apart," she said. "Art does the same for communities."
Syed, a stay-at-home mom, said much of the framed art in her home is the work of her mother, Barbara Vale, who was a portraitist.
"She was paid well for her work," Syed said. "I on the other hand love architecture. That is one reason we bought this house and I have been working on restoring it ever since."
Outside her mother's work, Syed's favorite piece of artwork in her home is a 1949 Fitch Burt Fulton piece that is the center of her home's entryway.
Another piece that stands out in Syed's home is a large portrait her mother painted of her when Syed was a young girl.
"Much of the artwork here I inherited from my mother, such as the Fulton piece," Syed explained.
The variety of art covers almost all of the wall space in the home's first floor, which also hosts a grand piano.
Refreshments served at Corning in the Evening were prepared by Chamber Director Sonja Akers.
Corning in the Evening is a monthly event hosted by members of the Chamber of Commerce giving the community an opportunity to meet and learn more about what the businesses and organizations in town have to offer.