Charleroi's Clark letting her inner artist shine through
(EDITOR'S NOTE: The Young Professionals of the Mon Valley, open to anyone from age 21 to 42, was created “to attract, retain and develop the next generation of Mon Valley professionals.” This series profiles some of those young professionals.)
As long as she can remember, art has been an important part of Casey Clark's life.
“I used to draw Disney characters and I would tape them all over my room,” said Clark, owner of Off the Wall Arts in Charleroi.
“I think I still have them.”
She approached her business goals simply.
“When I started this business, all I wanted to do was make some money so I could take the kids to Disney,” said Clark. She and her husband Eric are the parents of Hayden, 10, and Haley, 9.
“And no one knew what this would become. Now, it's become in my eyes a success. I hope to inspire others to follow their dreams, because I have.”
Today, Clark does two of the things she most enjoys – painting and helping others.
Clark, 35, grew up in Fallowfield, graduating from Charleroi Area High School in 1998.
“I've always been into the arts,” Clark said. “My mother, Delores, is an amazing artist and started me out when I was very young and I've been doing this all of my life.
“Art is my outlet. It's my passion. It's my hobby and now it's my life.”
Her sister, Carrie Mashuda, hosted Clark's first paint-and-sip party.
“She invited all of her friends and we painted the afternoon away,” Clark said.
As the fundraising event grew, Clark looked for a place large enough to accommodate them, and to help raise funds for charitable causes.
This is her first venture into owning her own business. She opened Off the Wall Art in 2013.
“I opened the door and fell in love with the place,” Clark said. “It was an old building that just needed to be brought back to life.”
She does private parties, corporate events, fundraising events, and children's parties … with cookies and milk.
“I love the fundraising aspect of it,” Clark said. “We're helping hundreds of people raise an awful lot of money for fantastic causes.”
Community is important to Clark.
She was introduced to the Young Professionals of the Mon Valley by Tanya Chaney, owner of Chaney's Natural in Monongahela.
The Young Professionals is a committee of the Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Open enrollment is available for anyone from age 21 to 42 who is “career and community involved.”
The formal mission of the Young Professionals is “to attract, retain and develop the next generation of Mon Valley professionals” through a number of different events.
The group plans to attract through social networking events, retain through community engagements and develop through professional development events.
Clark also is a member of Team Charleroi, helping to organize events for such occasions in The Magic City such as Halloween, Veterans Day and Small Business Saturday.
A member of Leadership Washington County, Clark is an active member of the Greater Rostraver and Mon Valley Regional chambers.
Her art is her gift to the community.
She sells her paintings at $20 apiece, with the proceeds to benefit Magee Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. She is working on a giant mural on the site of Mon River Arts in Elizabeth as a fundraiser.
And she donated paintings to the United Way.
“I would like to inspire others to let their inner artist shine through,” Clark said.
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at [email protected] or 724-684-2642 .