Othello — CyberArt 509 is the featured artist for the month of August at the Old Hotel Art Gallery in Othello.
CyberArt 509 was started in 1996 by Patrick and Patricia Fleming, of the Tri-Cities, after they noticed that there were only a few public places where artists could display their work.
“We were trying to develop places for local artists to display their work,” said Patrick Fleming. “We’ve been in 32 different venues on and off.”
The group originally started with 12 members. They charged enough to cover the cost of a website.
“My wife and I started the organization,” Fleming said. “We’d invite people to exhibit. It’s taken on a life of its own.”
Today, CyberArt 509 has more than 80 members. Unlike some artistic groups, potential members are not judged on their abilities. The group is open to all ability levels.
“Everybody is invited to join,” said Fleming. “We support and encourage beginners.”
While all media and styles of art are accepted for membership, every member signs a document informing them that the locations where their artwork is displayed have the right to refuse to display anything that may be offensive to their clientele.
On display at the Othello Old Hotel Art Gallery is a variety of paintings, including landscapes, horses and portraits. There is also some futuristic science fiction work and wood working.
“We’re a real random group of people who want to share our personal voice,” said Fleming.
To learn more about CyberArt 509, visit their website at www.cyberart509.com. Information about joining the group is on the website.
“One guy had never exhibited before,” Fleming said. “Because of us, he came on. At his first show at a winery, he sold six pieces.”
Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.