Marysville Art League
The Marysville Art League (MAL) was established in 1979 by a group of local artists from Union County. They began meeting in artists' homes and the Marysville Public Library until 1982 when they purchased the historical Houston House. The house was in need of many repairs. With great pride, the members completed the renovations. They held their meetings, Sunday luncheons, art exhibits, and classes in the beautiful home. In the early 90's they added the Pottery Barn, now known as the Edith Dyer Art Room.
Edith Dyer was one of the founding members serving as president and a teacher. Edith was best known for her fundraising abilities. She was the one who convinced the organization to buy the Houston house. She was also inspirational in getting the new art room built that we now enjoy today. Four of her original paintings still hang in the Houston House.
Through the years the MAL has been a thriving organization thanks to the original members. In 2015 members of the original Art League were recognized for their dedication and contributions throughout the years.
Marilyn Shearer was one of the MAL's most supportive members, she served in many leadership roles throughout the years. Until her health failed in 2011, she oversaw all the activities and rentals. Marilyn was very generous to the art league. The Parlor is dedicated to her memory, as well as the wheelchair ramp which would have enabled her to stay active. Her dreams of a wheelchair ramp became a reality in 2014 allowing the MAL to better serve the community.
Please let us know if you would like to nominate a past founder, contributor, or dedicated member who has made a difference in the history of the Marysville Art League. The history of the Houston house and MAL is important to us. If you have anything to share please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Historical Houston House
1. The Houston House was built in 1872 by Christopher Houston (1829-1892)
He was born in Ireland and came to America in 1850.
Christopher was a prominent businessman who was a grocer and bank founder. He was a Mason of the Palestine Lodge and was active in Republican political affairs.
He married Hannah Sabine (1837-1926) on March 26, 1861.
She organized the Women’s Parliament in 1890 and it is still active today in Marysville.
She was the First Matron of the Eastern Star in Marysville.
Christopher and Hannah had four children.
Alexander (1862-1939) 77 years old
Archibald (1863-1908) –killed at the age of 45
Frederick King (1866-1949) 83 years old
Christine (1871-1947) 76 years old
Christopher built the Houston block on the Southwest corner of Marysville Square in 1870.
Christopher and Hannah are buried in Oakdale Cemetery.
From East to West – Clements, Sabines, Houstons. The rose granite tombstone came from Scotland.
2. The last family member to live in the house was Grace Houston Biamonte (1885-1979)
She was the daughter of Alexander Houston.
Grace married Francesco Biamonte in 1939 and he died in 1955.
She purchased the home from the estate of her Uncle Frederick Houston who had inherited the home .
She was a talented artist and many of her paintings are around Marysville today.
Grace studied at Columbus Art School, The Ohio State University (A.B.), and Columbia University (M.A.).
She taught at various schools in Pennsylvania and became a Professor in the Art Department at Indiana (PA) State Teachers College.
3. The Marysville Art League acquired the Houston House in December 1982.
They have restored the house to its present condition, thus saving a fast-deteriorating historic home that goes back to when Marysville had less than five hundred people living there.
This non-profit organization keeps the arts alive by providing lessons, classes, camps, art shows, and special events.
Grace Houston Biamonte was the last Houston to live in the family home. Grace lived in the house until 1978. Many of Grace's original painting are still on display at the Houston House. It's unclear how the art league gained possession of so many of her beautiful pieces. Many of the founding members of the art league were friends with Grace. They were also in Garden Club with her and were regular guests at her home. Biamonte attended Ohio State University and became a professor of art in Pennsylvania.
Grace Houston Biamonte
Mr. Eugene Snively
Mr. Eugene Snively grew up in Broadway, Ohio. At the age of 21, he left home to pursue a dream of art and fashion.
Within two days of moving to southern California, he found a job at the J.W. Robinson department store. The job led him to new fashion-design opportunities. Snively worked in Hollywood in the 1950s and 1960s where he eventually landed roles helping MGM and Paramount studios with luminaries such as Helen Rose, Edith Head, and Howard Greer. He also created clothes for stars such as Angela Lansbury and Elizabeth Taylor.
Around 1955 Eugene began a series of drawings/paintings portraying women wearing clothes that reflected his knowledge of fashion history. Each has the title, “One of the Girls.” His work in the issue of the Pioneer shows a flamboyant woman dressed in a style of the 1800s Old West, which bears that title as well.
In 1969 he left Hollywood’s glitz and glamour for Colorado Springs, where he met his wife Lola. They bought their home in Pleasant Valley in the early '70s.
Fifty-nine years later, he lived in semi-retirement in Pleasant Valley. He taught senior art classes and drawing classes for Alzheimer’s patients. His works appear at Back Pages Antiques at 21st Street and Highway 24 and inking the Territory Days cover photo for this issue of the Westside Pioneer.
Snively died May 21, 2012. He was 84.
*The Houston House contains original artwork by Mr. Eugene Snively.