When Myrna Hume moved to South Hill 14 years ago, her new home came with an RV garage.
She knew exactly what she wanted to do with it.
She told her husband, Ed, host of KING 5’s “Gardening in America”, her idea.
“I told Ed, ‘I always wanted an art studio,’” Hume remembered.
Years later, it became the location for South Hill Artists (SHA), a nonprofit group that provides art classes for the community and its members to raise money for local charity groups.
“We knew we wanted to do charity work. We said we really need to be a nonprofit,” Hume said. “We want to give back to society.”
But at first, Hume didn’t know many artists in the South Hill community. In fact, she had to leave South Hill altogether before she found them at an art workshop a few hours south.
“A bunch of us met down there,” said Candy Barney, an SHA board member.
“From there, it just grew,” added Hume.
In 2008, SHA officially formed. Over the years, the group has donated to the Puyallup Food Food Bank and contributed coats to coat drives. Last year, it gave $500 to Mother Earth Farm to create bags of food to give to kids in need during the summer.
Now, SHA has grown to 100 members, with roughly 14 members on the board. Hume said the artist community is enormous.
“It’s so much bigger than I thought when I moved here,” she said.
And it’s only growing — so much so that the RV garage is feeling a little crowded. The Humes spent roughly $10,000 fixing up the studio, complete with an abundance of art supplies and even a dark room with a light table for tracing.
“We have lots of supplies and they’re open to everybody,” Hume said.
There’s even a library, run by SHA secretary Sue Stewart.
Throughout the SHA season, from September to June, SHA hosts workshops with artists known locally and even out of state. Members teach everything from watercolor painting and collages to painting with coffee and making bags out of recycled canvas. Every month, there’s a new demo artist, organized by board member Mary Dubinsky.
The whole experience has fulfilled the lifelong dream of Hume, who grew up yearning to create.
“I would take classes at some of the schools and I really loved art and I wanted to learn more,” Hume said. “This is my love, and everyone has come together to make it better and better.”
Located at 14206 86th Ave. E. on South Hill, SHA hosts meetings with artists every first Thursday of the month, with open classes on Tuesdays and watercolor classes taught by artist Mary Gibbs on Wednesdays. Memberships cost $40, which includes seven art classes throughout the year. All the proceeds go toward supporting local community groups.
For more information, visit southhillartists.com.