The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

New classes at the Wassenberg Art Center

By Hope Wallace

I love my job. Wait, I’ve said that before. Regardless, thanks to all who brought me to the Wassenberg Art Center. I am fortunate in the fact that I do not have to report on the devastations of hurricanes or the devastating facets of human nature. While that

Manga/animé character by Matthew Temple, Wassenberg Art Center instructor.

information is important to know, the productive side of the human journey is equally if not more important and I get to write about that every week. This kind of positive stuff is only worth its salt if it can be shared.

Today, I get to inform the readers of the Times Bulletin that if you are not a member of the Wassenberg Art Center and plan to take in the festivities of the Van Wert County Fair — if you visit the art and photography exhibits in the Administration Building, we will offer you a 25% fair discount on an annual membership! We want everyone to get to know what we’ve been up to and how you and your family can benefit.

In addition to access to the Wassenberg Camera Club, you and/or your family will receive significant discounts on classes and workshops, be kept informed of art exhibitions and have the opportunity to really get involved in becoming a catalyst for creative expression and participate in expanding our vital community culture health and pride in a myriad of ways.

This fall’s class line-up is very exciting with “Drawing in Your Right Mind,” (I’m taking this one!), “Landscape Oil Painting with Sally Geething,” “Watercolor and Mixed Media,”  “Dynamic Acrylic Painting,” “Anime/Manga”, “Beginning Drawing,” “Claymation,” and “Medieval Multimedia.”  “Initial Line Art,” ceramics and potentially a beginning Photoshop class will also be on the horizon so let us know what you what to know!

Contact the art center at 419.238.6837 or for further information or to register.  Class size is limited, and preregistration is required.  The Wassenberg Art Center is located at 643 S. Washington Street in Van Wert, Ohio.

An artful life:  Shooting for survival

By Kay Sluterbeck

“She was a fussy little girl who tackled everything with precision,” her brother recalled.  “She was pure in heart and spirit.  I never heard her utter a cuss word in her life.  She prayed on her knees every night.”  The little girl, born in Ohio, grew up to be remembered as a symbol of the Wild West.   Her name was Annie Oakley.

Phoebe Ann Moses was born in Darke County on August 13, 1860, one of seven children of Jacob and Susan Moses.  Her sisters quickly nicknamed her “Annie.”  Even as a very small child she loved the outdoors.  When she wasn’t exploring the woods, she helped her father do chores — everything from collecting brush for the fire to helping build fences.

In the winter of 1866, when Annie was only five and a half years old, her father died of pneumonia.  Susan Moses now had to raise seven children alone.  She rented a smaller farm and moved the family there.  To support her children, Susan not only handled the farm chores, but also nursed women who were having babies, earning $1.25 a week.  Seeing how hard her mother worked, Annie — now age seven — decided to help.  Her father had taught her how to dig small trenches and cover them with heavy cornstalks to make a simple animal trap.  Baiting the traps with just enough corn to attract quail, squirrels and pheasants, each day Annie brought home fresh meat for the family.

At age eight she figured out a better way to put food on the table.  She climbed up over the fireplace and with her brother John’s help carefully took down her father’s big rifle, cleaned and loaded it, and headed for the woods.  It isn’t known whether she hunted a squirrel or a rabbit that day, but whatever it was she brought the animal down with a single shot. “I don’t know how I acquired the skill,” she said later, “I suppose I was born with it.”  Now she went out hunting and trapping every day to keep food on the table.

Unfortunately, life got harder.  Annie’s mother remarried, but her husband was killed in an accident soon after another child was born.  To save money, the family had to send some of the children out to earn their own room and board.  When Annie was ten she was sent to live with Samuel and Nancy Ann Edington, who ran the Darke County Infirmary at Greenville.  The infirmary housed orphaned children, impoverished adults, and people who were mentally ill.  Annie helped at the infirmary and never forgot the faces of the children she helped care for. Because of this experience, as an adult she always gave generously to charities that helped children.  Along with her other duties she learned to knit, sew, and do fancy embroidery — skills she used all her life.

When a farmer came to the infirmary looking for a girl to live with his family and help his wife care for their infant son, Annie volunteered because he promised her a good life with plenty of time to hunt and go to school.  Her mother gave permission for her to move to the man’s farm, south of Greenville.  However, despite their promises the man and his wife — Annie called them “The Wolves” — treated her like a slave.

On a typical day she would arise at 4 a.m., get the breakfast, milk the cows, feed the calves, chickens and pigs, pump water for the cattle, rock the baby to sleep, weed the garden, pick blackberries, dig potatoes and pick vegetables, and prepare dinner.  Only after doing all that could she go hunting and trapping.  If she failed to perform her duties satisfactorily, she was beaten.  One winter night she fell asleep while darning socks.  The wife threw Annie out in the snow, barefoot, and bolted the door.  Slowly freezing to death, the little girl got down on her knees and tried to pray, but her lips were frozen stiff and she couldn’t make a sound.  Luckily, when the woman heard her husband coming home she let Annie back in the house.

(To be continued)

POSTED: 08/31/11 at 1:17 pm. FILED UNDER: What's Up at Wassenberg?