Main Street Artists Helping Young Actors

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The creative spirits at Artists of the Rim have often engaged in community-supporting endeavors in their three years as a collective — from racing cars to prancing in parades.

“It was fun, but it took a lot of time away from what we were good at,” said artist Dixie Guldner.

This year, the artists of Artists of the Rim will donate artwork for a silent auction Friday to benefit the Payson High School Longhorn Theatre Company. The event celebrates the collective’s third anniversary, and marks the convergence of desire to help the community with the artists’ talent.

“We hope that people enjoy it and we’ll enjoy it,” Guldner said.

The silent auction will unfold during the First Friday reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Members of the Longhorn Theatre Company will mingle with the crowd dressed in 1600s circa costumes, in honor of the upcoming “The Three Musketeers” performance, which opens Nov. 4. Students will also sword fight and perform skits.

The troupe is self-supporting, and theater co-director Thomas Walling said money is always needed for productions and trips. Next summer, they hope to visit London to see a show and tour the historical sites.

At Artists of the Rim, the 15 painters, photographers and other craftsmen who display work, have coalesced as a family over the years, said Guldner. Some in the group have run galleries before, and several contribute their good business sense. “There’s a nice give and take among artists,” Guldner said. They each try the other’s ideas and always listen.

In 2006, the collective began with 18 artists. They made the first sale four days before officially opening when a couple traveling from London asked for a preview.

The couple loved a painting by artist Delores Hartless, and asked to buy it, but the gallery had no credit card machine, bubble wrap, or sales slips. Instead of panicking, the artists told the couple to go have lunch — the painting would be ready upon their return.

They ran to the bank for the credit card machine, bought the necessary shipping wrap, and the gallery had its first $350 sale on Aug. 15, 2006.

“It’s really a neat family,” said Guldner.

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