Founded in 1939, Barn Colony Artists, Inc. is a not for profit organization of practitioners and friends of the fine arts. It is supported through dues, donations and income-producing activities such as sales and workshops. The membership includes beginners, advanced amateurs, and professionals from Decatur and neighboring Central Illinois. Artists and friends of the fine arts are urged to join or support Barn Colony Artists, Inc.

The first meeting of the Decatur art group was held in May of 1939 as a result of a letter to the editor of the Decatur Herald and Review from Herman Jackson, a professional artist who suggested formation of an organization of local artists. The group found a new home in a small room in the ground floor of the barn/carriage house on the grounds of the James Millikin home at 125 Pine St. The group adopted the name Barn Colony and met regularly in the barn for 30 years. The Barn Colony held its First Annual Exhibit in 1940 and has held the members-only judged show annually through the present, except for one year skipped during World War II.

The Barn Colony members meet Monday nights from September through May in the 2nd floor studio workshop at the Madden Arts Center, located at 125 N. Water St., Decatur, IL. Activities for Barn Colony members at their weekly meetings include: lectures, demonstrations, and instruction by professors, professional artists and area art teachers. We also have instruction by our own members. Sessions with still life or models provide an opportunity to try out new knowledge or sharpen old skills. Members frequently bring work in progress for evaluation and constructive comments. Information on materials, equipment and art news is exchanged. All meetings are from 7 to 9 pm.

Summer activities continue with meetings either in the studio or at an outdoor location. The members work without instructors in an atmosphere of camaraderie and sharing. Interested people are invited to attend as guests during summer sessions.

Throughout the year, Barn Colony arranges shows and sales at various local sites, providing members with opportunities to display and sell their work. Annually, usually in May, a Spring Show and competition for members is held. The entries are judged and critiqued by an independent professional. Ribbons and prizes are awarded.

How can I become a member?
Visit our booth at Arts in Central Park, come to our Open House in September, or send your name, address, telephone & e-mail with a check (made out to Barn Colony Artists) for $60 annual membership to: Barn Colony Artists Inc., c/o Decatur Area Arts Council, 125 N. Water St., Decatur 62523. See our website for more information and exact dates.

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