Just a few months after moving into their new home at the Midtown Square shopping center, the Artists of the High Desert held a grand opening party last Saturday to celebrate.


Friends, old and new, enjoyed refreshments, conversation and art. And there was a clear consensus about the move from Apple Valley back to Hesperia, where the club was located for numerous years. (For three years the club was located in the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley.)


"We keep saying the same word perfect," said club president Sandra Howard. "It's just perfect."


The new store front is in between Kmart and Albertsons and, as a result, receives inquiries from passersby. The facility has ample gallery space in front, storage, a small kitchen and ample parking.


"We get new faces coming in," said club member Melinda Greve.


Art instructor Mil B, who painted a mixed media art piece as guests filtered in, said the club serves as a nexus for both experienced and inexperienced artists. And teaching is where her heart lies.


"That's really my passion," she said. "They [her students] feed me, and I feed them. That's really what the club is about encouraging the artist within."


According to Howard, the new location is allowing the club to reinvent itself and reach out to new audiences, especially younger people interested in learning about art.


Renowned artist Trudy Wood, who taught a workshop last year, will teach a six-week drawing course for children and adults. The class begins on July 9. A Teens and Beginners Watercolor Class will start on July 6.


On Wednesday, June 30, watercolorist Jim Burns will give a noon demonstration following an 11 a.m. potluck.


The club, which was formerly called the Hesperia Art Club, is also looking into offering a scrapbooking class.


"As can fit it in we're doing it," Howard said.


Perhaps the most appreciated addition, however, is the club's new sign, which was made possible through a donation by Scott Limbacher.


"I'm married to the treasurer [artist Rhonda Limbacher], so I thought they needed it, and I volunteered," he said.


With the donated sign and all the other positive things coming the club's way, members are excited about what's in the club's future.


"It feels good," Howard said.