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There is always something going on at the Barn!!  Check back frequently for updates.

Mud Slinging Extravaganza Was a Success"
Mud Slinging Extravaganza Was a Success"

Mudslinging Extravaganza was a Success!

With the help of local sponsors that came together with Artisans at the Dahmen Barn we were able to pay off our new kiln shed. Early spring, not even a year after opening our new ceramic program at the Dahmen Barn led by Kassie Smith and Deb Robinson Smith, we found the space not to be adequate for teaching students and firing the clay projects. A need for additional space was needed immediately. Local contractor Stephen Vachon believed in the project and worked with Kassie Smith to build a kiln shed to house the kilns and glazing materials. The kiln shed was constructed and in place in mid June. We needed a good idea for a fundraiser so being the creative group we are, we came up with the Mudslinging Extravaganza the first of its kind.

Not knowing what to expect sponsors bought into the idea. Local Ceramic artists  donated time to demonstrate their talents in hand building, surface design and large scale mold making, Our Students that have been taking ongoing classes also did wheel throwing demonstrations. A raku, pit fire and barrel fire demonstration was also a hit, but the big event was the mudslinging, seven competitors faced off to see who could throw the most bowls in 12 minutes. The competition ended in a tie between our very own Kassie Smith and Haile Hunsacker a new friend of the barn, they both had seven minutes to break the tie and it was a close call with Kassie winning by one bowl. 

Altogether over 70 bowl were produced Haile came back a week later and helped Kassie and others trim the bowls and John McCann made a special stamp for the bowls. You ask how can I get one of those amazing bowls?
Watch for our soup supper sale this fall. Soup, bread, and an amazing  bowl and we promise to have pictures and videos of the event for those who missed it.

Event sponsors: Banner Bank, Clearwater Canyon Cellars, Riverport Brewing Company, Washington Trust Bank, Gentle Earth Acupuncture,
Palouse Commercial Real Estate, HyperSpud Sports, Tri-State Outfitters,
Pickard Orthodontics, Moscow Family Eye Care, Sanctuary Yoga,
JJ Building Supply, Dutch Bros., The Odom Corporation, Presnell and Gage, pllc. Avista and Uniontown Community Development Assoc. 

Progress on the expansion of the Dahmen Barn
Progress on the expansion of the Dahmen Barn

August 2016

The addition now has a name - the Loafing Shed - same as the outbuilding that was in the same location but unable to be used as it was.  Volunteers took off the barn boards and the rusted metal roofing,  The boards trim out the interior spaces and metal and boards will be used for the rolling doors both inside and out.

The three new studios are up and running!  We are offering classes for children and adults in the clay studio and the fishing rod artists are busy at work.  Two of our resident artists are sharing a large studio doing figural and abstract painting in addition to fused glass.

The teaching kitchen is done and the culinary arts classes will begin in September.

June 2016 update:

We are almost there!  After 5 years of planning, fundraising and construction we are seeing the end of our expansion project.

A couple small interior items need to be finished by the contractor and our volunteer painters need to paint the insides of all the exterior doors.  

At our first concert in the finished event space we learned that the acoustics are fabulous!

The kilns for the clay studio will be set in place this month and artists renting the other two studios will move in July 1.

This year our Children's Summer Program will have day-long sessions that have three fun activities:  a clay project, a cooking experience and an art class.  We are so excited to have the new space and with its opportunity to expand our programming.

March 2016 update:

The rough electrical and kitchen plumbing are done, the HVAC system and insulation are installed and wall and ceiling finishes are going up.  Our volunteer painters are on point for a project completion by May 15.

And, the grass we seeded last fall is sprouting!  We are looking good at the Barn!!!

December 2015 update:

Looks like we need to raise another $15,000 to be able to install LED lighting, darn it.  We operate the Barn on a shoestring, so keeping utility costs as low as possible is extremely important.  If you can help with a tax-deductible donation, that would be much appreciated!!!!!  Go to the Sustaining the Barn section of this website to make your donation.

September 2015 update:

We held a very successful series of concerts in the unfinished addition over the summer.  The new event space works very well and we are excited to turn the building over to the contractor in October so he can do the interior work.  We can't wait until next spring when the space is ready to use.  We will have a clay studio complete with wheels and kilns!

Volunteers completed the exterior painting and staining and the building looks fabulous!

July 2015  update:

Yay for the Barn!  After a long wait, we received the news that the State Legislature funded the Building for the Arts program in the capital budget. We will continue to use the unfinished addition through September, then the contractor can resume the interior work.  More electrical, heating & cooling, insulation, wall finishes and doors will be installed over the winter months.

We are still raising funds to purchase appliances and equipment for the commercial kitchen.  GOOD NEWS - USDA is funding the appliances for the kitchen.

June 2015 update:

Volunteers have been staining the exterior of the addition and it looks fabulous!  We custom mixed gray/green and brown stain to match the color of the boards that came off of the old loafing shed that this building replaces.  WE LOVE OUR VOLUNTEERS!

The restrooms are complete thanks to grants from the Inland Northwest Community Foundation and Northwest Farm Credit Services.  We are still waiting for the Washington State Legislature to finalize the capital budget, hoping that the Building for the Arts Program will be included since funding for the Barn expansion is #5 on the list of 14 finalists state-wide.  The grant amount will cover the majority of the mechanical systems and remaining interior finish.

The Uniontown Building Department has issued a temporary occupancy permit so we have begun using the space for our Summer Concert Series and some classes.  The new space is working very nicely.  It has been a long process since we began planning the expansion in 2011.

May 2015 update:

The restrooms in the addition are nearly finished and are stunning!  We thank volunteers Peter Holland and Joanne Druffel for their painting skills and for Mangum Construction for working on this phase of the project.

We will be holding our 2015 Summer Concert Series in the event room in the addition. It will seat more people than the second floor of the Barn and should be comfortable during the warm summer months when we can open all the doors and windows.  We have 7 performances scheduled, with many coming from as far away as Nashville, Texas and North Carolina!  Go to the Performances section on the Event page on this site to check out the performers and preview their music.

The exterior of the addition will be stained as soon as the weather permits, which means primarily night time temperatures unless we get a rainy spell we have to work around.

Grading of the site surrounding the addition has been done at a discount by Roach Construction, for which we are grateful.  We are getting bids for hydroseeding.

We received a $3000 donation from the  McGregor Company to help finish the interior.  The McGregor family has been very supportive of the Barn over the years.  They have done some projects for us in their shop during winter months.  We enjoy having Mary McGregor on our Board of Directors.  Mary has lots of creative ideas and energy, a great combination for our operation.

Still waiting to hear on the State budget for Building for the Arts funding. The good news is that both the House and the Senate have included the program in the preliminary budgets but until the final version is voted in, we won't know for sure.

February 2015 update:

With the funding received to date for finishing the interior of the addition, we will be able to complete the restrooms before spring!  That means in warm weather months we will be able to use the building for some events.  

Here is a preview of the interior of the addition that shows the magnificent space.  The shot was taken looking north from the event room through the new studios.  Note the exterior doors that will allow the artists to do their work outside on a patio during warm weather.  The doors on the right hand wall go to a patio and the yard behind the wheel fence - perfect for indoor-outdoor events.  The commercial kitchen not seen in this image, but is to the left of the event space with his and her restrooms around the corner to the upper left. Fundraising continues to complete the electrical and HVAC systems, insulation, and interior finishes.  YOUR DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE

January 2015 update:

TA DA!  The weather tight shell of the addition is now complete except for stain and paint that will be done by volunteers in the spring.  We thank Mangum Construction of Clarkston for a good job on this project.  They were great to work with.

The 3600 square foot addition that includes more studio space for artists, a multi-purpose room to be used for larger classes, live music performances and rentals for private events, restrooms and much-needed storage.  Also included is a commercial kitchen to be used by event caterers and will allow us to expand our programming into culinary arts classes.  The addition adds 60% to our facility's capacity.

The grants we received from the ArtPlace Foundation and Whitman County has allowed finishing of the weather tight enclosure - windows, doors, roofing, siding and the exterior concrete plus interior wall framing.  Fund raising continues for the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems, insulation and the interior finishes as well as outfitting the kitchen.

We thank those who have donated to help complete the interior:
  • Numerous individuals and small businesses who have become Members
  • The Inland Northwest Community Foundation - $29,581
  • Northwest Farm Credit Services - $2,500
  • The project is also #5 on the list of 14 finalists for funding through the Washington State Building for the Arts Program, funds for which must be appropriated by the legislature in 2015.  We are hoping for the best.

Our 2014/2015 membership program is in progress, funds from which will also help finish the interior.  Please consider supporting our creativity mission by going to the Sustaining the Barn page to Join Us!

Collaborative project raises funds for new commercial kitchen
Collaborative project raises funds for new commercial kitchen

A group of creative and dedicated volunteers came armed with piles of fabric, sewing machines and all the necessary hand tools to make hundreds of lovely, custom hot pads to be sold to raise funds for the commercial kitchen in our new addition.  The group included Board members, resident artists and some community volunteers.

The hot pads will be available in December at our 9th Annual Holiday Gift Gala.  

Much of what we have accomplished at the Barn in the last 10 years since it was donated to the community had been done by volunteers following their vision.  We are so blessed to have so many talented and motivated helpers.

UPDATE:  We sold more than $1000 worth of hot pads around the time of the Gala!  As of January 15, $1178 has been raised and only a few of the hot pads are left!

Our annual fundraising tea was a huge success!
Our annual fundraising tea was a huge success!

We raised a record amount at the June 21 tea. The Downton Abbey theme was very popular and we sold out several weeks before the event. The food was exquisite and costumes spectacular! 

The fashion show that included vintage garments from Board Member Mary McGregor's family was fabulous. Models joining Mary included Laurel Macdonald, an artist who works with us on the Colton School art program and two of the students from that program, Rachel Willis and Cambria Smetana.

Resident artist Alison Oman played a key role in this year's tea.  She has family in London so brought back decorations, favors, real English tea and items for our auction.  She also made 70 trifles from her family's recipe!

We thank everyone who attended, our volunteers who worked so hard to make this a memorable event and our artists who donated their work for the auctions.

This photo is of Carrie Vielle, on the left, our multi-talented resident artist who put so much of herself into making this tea our most successful fundraising event. She did the graphics, arranged all the auction items in beautifully wrapped groupings, donated two pieces of her art for the auction and emceed the whole event. She worked tirelessly at set up and donned her vintage dress shortly before the tea began. On the right is Maryann Boehmke, the attendee who won the costume contest.
10th Annual Fundraising Tea held June 4, 2016
10th Annual Fundraising Tea held June 4, 2016

Our annual tea and auction was our first special event in our new addition.  The event space was wonderful and the kitchen functioned beautifully.  We love the dishwasher that does a load in 90 seconds!
We welcome visitors!
We welcome visitors!

Those who visit the Barn are encouraged to engage with the resident artists to learn about their creative process.

Here Craig Whitcomb, of the Snake River Showcase studio, talks with Japanese exchange students about his work.
Our 10th Anniversary
Our 10th Anniversary

We celebrated our 10th anniversary on Oct 8 with a great party put on by our Board members and resident artists.  The food was incredible and we had tastes of locally crafted cider, beer and wines.  The dollar auction was very fun.

The next day we dedicated the Loafing Shed by recognizing everyone who helped bring the addition to reality - those who funded the project, those who were the builders and our amazing volunteers who helped with many important tasks.  It was a long, 5.5 year process, but the new space is amazing.  The programs we are now able to offer are contributing to a more sustainable budget.

We appreciate everyone who helped in any way get us to where we are today.

New programs are happening in the Loafing Shed addition
New programs are happening in the Loafing Shed addition


Adult culinary arts program:  The adult program features instructors that are outstanding in their topic. They may be chefs and bakers from noteworthy regional restaurants, the WSU Hospitality Program or individuals with an award-winning track record. Topics will be seasonal and the basics, such as food safety and knife skills, will be integrated into the curriculum. There will be an emphasis on using healthy, local ingredients. At the end of a session, participants dine on what they have created.  In this photo students toast WSU Executive Chef Jamie Callison.  The commercial kitchen is seen through the rolling barn doors.

The 2016 Children's Summer Program had a culinary arts experience. The kids had a great time integrating art into their cooking projects. More topics are planned, some where a parent and child work together.Renting the kitchen

Please email if you are a food entrepreneur in need of renting a kitchen to create your product.


Wheel Throwing & Hand Building Program:
 Classes in all levels of wheel throwing, hand building, decorating, sculpture, glazing, tile/mosaic are offered in our fully equipped studio. Classes cover wheel throwing and hand building techniques. The classes are kept small to allow for individualized attention and study within the group setting. We encourage mixed interest classes to provide students with a better understanding of the wide range of possibilities clay has to offer.

Metal cat now sits below Wheeletta Wholesteele
Metal cat now sits below Wheeletta Wholesteele

The cow sculpture was created by artist John Bergen working with our Shop proprietor Julie Hartwig to procure parts from old agricultural equipment from local farms. The project was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Junette Dahmen, donor of the Barn, held a contest to name the cow. One hundred names were submitted and Junette chose Wheeletta. Both Susan Clark and Melissa Samuels submitted the same name, so both received certificates for ice cream sundaes. Board member Gene Dixon suggested Wholesteele for her last name.

Brenda Schultheis suggested the name Dahmen Doodles, which Junette thought appropriate for the cat that Bergen made to place below Wheeletta's udder. Brenda received an ice cream prize, too.

The cat is now finished and sits below Wheeletta.  Come take a look at its fine detail!
"Love at the Barn" Valentine event was a huge success
"Love at the Barn" Valentine event was a huge success

We seated 57 guests in the beautifully decorated Loafing Shed for this event. The food was served in three courses, and the Palouse Choral Society Chamber Choir performed two sets between the courses.  The food was art in itself as well as scrumptious!

The guests gave a standing ovation at the end of the evening.

A total of 45 volunteers, including the 25 member choir, planned the event and made it happen.  We appreciate all those who helped.

It was a very classy event and will likely become an annual collaboration.

The Barn

BARN & SHOP HOURS:  WINTER HOURS Thursday through Sunday 10 am to 4 pm.
CLOSED: New Year's Day, Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.