Heart of Ohio Tole, Inc. (HOOT) is a not-for-profit charitable organization whose purpose is to promote and educate people about decorative painting. HOOT was organized in 1975.
by Thelma Hulet & Carole Core, Charter members
In the “early days,” word of the Decorative Painting Society was “a kept secret” by some and a spreading of the “gospel” by others. [Thelma Hulet] decided to get a group together and explore the possibilities of starting a chapter. A date & time was decided on and those interested were invited to come to a “ceramic shop” (Thelma’s). While waiting for the day to arrive, Thelma received a phone call from a Diane Capoccia (whom she did not know) who had been pressured by the shop owners to call her. She said “I hear you are having a meeting to start a chapter.” After a long conversation, Thelma invited her group to join us and thus “a new world” began for all of us.
We met, brainstormed, laughed, got acquainted and set a date for our first meeting. Teachers would share a simple project with whoever shows up! Our first meeting was in the upper room of a bank building on E. Broad St., by the way, we outlasted the bank—it is no longer there.
We had more than 40 in attendance, our teacher was Betty Garrett from Springfield, Ohio and our project was a small canvas with a country mailbox and blue flowers. AND everyone finished their project, thrilled and happy. The year was 1974 and we continued to “steamroll” and projects got more & more exciting. Friends brought friends and we have met in restaurants, parks, banks, abandoned churches, hotels and libraries.
We received our charter in 1976 and Diane Capercia was proud and honored to accept.
When you see us now (The Chapter), remember we started small, no money but a great desire to share. What a rich reward we have received from you, our guests.
HOOT had hosted painting conventions for 39 years (1979-2019). We had instructors and students come from all over the world to participate in our classes, shop in our Exhibit Hall and enjoy being with fellow painters, learning new methods, honing skills and creating beautiful artwork.
HOOT has sponsored the Decorative Painting category at the Ohio State Fair since 1978.
Since 1998 HOOT members have been providing Memory Boxes to over 10 hospitals in Central Ohio area for infant bereavement programs.
Our members set up displays in showcases at area libraries to promote decorative painting to local communities.
In 2019 the Westerville Uptown Merchants sponsored an Art Hop and HOOT had a display to promote decorative painting.
In 2019 HOOT provided hand-painted items for auction at ‘Trees for a Cause’ where their proceeds went to a variety of philanthropic organizations. HOOT has participated in many community projects including Festival of Trees to support Columbus Children’s Hospital, as well as Mural painting at the Columbus Zoo.
HOOT has participated in Plant Pride on Parsons, a community beautification project in Columbus where our members painted large flower pots.
HOOT members have taught classes for Girl Scout Troops so that they may have the chance to earn a badge.
HOOT has made donations to Volunteers of America homeless children’s art classes and numerous donations to other philanthropic groups throughout the years.