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Organization offers new options for Ligonier's artistic teens

| Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Cami DiBattista | for the Ligonier Echo
Elizabeth Schellhammer, 17, of Ligonier Township and Devin Tomka, 17, of Laughlintown share examples of their art work during a meeting of the Young Artist Network of Ligonier.

Artistic young adults have a new option when it comes to exploring their talents in the Ligonier area.

Writers, musicians, sculptors, photographers, makeup artists, illustrators and more are invited to join the Young Artist Network of Ligonier, a new group for aspiring young artists ages 15 to 20.

“I believe there are a lot of young talented artists in Ligonier,” said the group's creator, 17-year-old Elizabeth Schellhammer. “I wanted to create an art organization to bring together like-minded young artists so that we can grow together as a group.”

The first meeting of the new group was held last week at the Allegory Gallery Annex at the Ligonier Mini Mall in Oak Grove Plaza.

Participants shared a bit about their interests and talents and then created a short YouTube video.

“I think the group is a fabulous idea,” said local artist and co-owner of Allegory Gallery, Andrew Thornton. “I believe it is important to develop a peer group where they can give each other constructive criticism and support. It can be isolating at times to be an artist and it can be very frustrating to ‘break into' the art scene when you're on your own. Having a group makes this task easier and allows artists to create their own opportunities.”

Schellhammer said she would like to see individuals with a variety of interests participate in the organization.

“I'd love for us to be able to write and produce our own short movies that we can put on the internet,” Schellhammer said.

Devin Tomka, 17, of Laughlintown shares Schellhammer's enthusiasm.

“I think the group will be a lot of fun. We can bounce ideas off of each other and exhibit our individual talents,” said Tomka.

Schellhammer's goal is for the group to participate in one or two area art shows per year.

Meetings will take place at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month, in Suite 3 of the Annex. The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 3. New members are always welcome and encouraged to bring an example of their work.

“This is an excellent way for young artists to meet, learn about the business of art and develop a social support group,” said Thornton.

To learn more about the group, visit

Cami DiBattista is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.