Optimism was high Monday evening, when longtime supporters of the Wynne Home Arts Center gathered to make initial plans for grand opening events.

“It looks like, after several delays, the contractors will have the home finished and they will be out by the end of March,” said Una Grace Nash, board member of the Friends of the Wynne, a nonprofit organization that will support the arts center through staffing volunteers and soliciting funds.

During Monday’s meeting the membership, now numbering 46, elected its nine-member board and began taking names of those willing to work at the home during hours of operation.

Hours the home will be open to the public are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The center will be closed Sundays and Mondays, allowing for private functions and group tours.

The group’s bylaws and articles of incorporation have also been constructed since the first organizational meeting in October.

Although no date has been set for opening ceremonies, organizers confirmed a number of grand opening events are in the works for April and May.

The Wynne Home was given to the city in 1998, and following a series of architectural studies and community input, the city began working on a master plan for the facility.

“It’s exciting to be at this point,” said Linda Pease, director of the Huntsville Arts Commission. “The organization of the Wynne Home begins first with the City Council, who ultimately represent the citizens of Huntsville. The Arts Commission generated a master plan and brought the Wynne Home up to speed, and the home will remain under the umbrella of the commission.

“The future of the Wynne home will depend greatly on the continuing work of the Friends of the Wynne. It is truly invaluable.”

Friends of the Wynne volunteers will undergo training in order to learn the history of the home and talking points on the furnishings and other highlights throughout the center to act as docents for future tours.

Two training sessions are set for April 8 and April 29 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Volunteers will also man the gift shop and gallery within the center.

“The gift shop will be patterned kind of like the Cabin on the Square,” said Betsy Milligan, Friends of the Wynne member. “The gifts of all kinds will be on consignment, and we look forward to everybody taking a turn through our gift shop. We’ll have cards by local artists, artwork and small items for the children to purchase.”

The first gallery show will feature self-taught Texas artists from throughout the state, but Pease said at least four exhibits will be on display throughout the year in the main gallery and rotating shows will be featured in other parts of the center.

Organizers said community input will continue to be a priority as the doors open and more visitors make their way through the local landmark.

“This first meeting of the year is the first time we’ve really gotten our teeth into something,” Nash said.

For more information on the Wynne Home Arts Center or Friends of the Wynne, call Pease at (936) 291-5422 or Nash at (936) 295-5745.

Recommended for you