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These paintings are on display at US Bank in Vinton.

Approximately 25 local artists and art lovers gathered at Creartivity Tuesday evening for the first of what hey hope will be several events to help area artists display their work..

The purpose, said Don Eells, is to encourage area artists and find ways to help them display their work publicly.

A second meeting is planned next Tuesday, April 15, at 6:30 p.m, at Creartivity on 4th Street in VInton.

Eells and artist Brian Parr spent Thursday morning setting up paintings by Parr, Paul Roster, Gerry Tomkins and Barbara Floyd-Campbell at US Banks, Farmers Savings Bank and Cedar Valley Bank. Those paintings can be seen during regular business hours.

In addition to helping display the art works, Eells said the group is discussing efforts to sell some of the paintings in a silent auction to raise money for area families facing special needs.

"We have a beautiful city; it is the perfect backdrop to showcase the visual arts," said Roster. "We are so fortunate to have so many extremely talented people living in and around Vinton. We just need a way to bring it out to the general public."

Roster said his own experience, as well as what he has seen other area artists experience, motivates him to participate in this guild effort.

"I have always felt that we need a way to bring the visual fine arts to the community. As an artist struggling to get noticed, I realized that I am not the only one," Roster says. "I have always felt that Vinton is a perfect place to become known as an art-rich community."

The initial meeting was a great indicator of how much interest there is in art in Vinton, said Eells. Without much advance publicity, more than two dozen people showed up to discuss what the area art community can do together.

"I think it's a great idea," said Steve Rippel, whose father, Bill, owned the Chevy in the painting the Roster calls "Rippel's Hilltop Chevy." Rippel and Roster are long-time friends. Many area residents remember seeing that old Chevy parked near Bill's auto shop northwest of Vinton, said Rippel, who also has other works by Roster in his possession.

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