Calligraphy comrades

First Posted: 9/22/2014

Although nearby classrooms in Marywood University’s Insalaco Center remained dark and empty the evening of Sept. 19, Room 336A bustled with with creativity, excitement and camaraderie.

Members of the Calligraphers’ Guild of Northeastern Pennsylvania gathered there for a meeting, the unveiling of a collaborative 2015 wall calendar they created in celebration of the organization’s upcoming 35th anniversary, a workshop on paper crafting and light refreshments.

The guild, according to a page at the end of the calendar, was formed in 1980 with the goals to “promote the study and practice of calligraphy to encourage individual excellence and to stimulate an appreciation for the history and application of calligraphy, both within the guild and the wider community.”

Margie Zaums, of Clarks Summit, a charter member, first started learning calligraphy in college, and when she read about the forming of the guild in a local newspaper almost 35 years ago, she was excited to be able to continue in the art form alongside others who possess the same interest.

Mary Schelble, of Clarks Green, said the story of how she came to join the guild 20 years ago is much the same: she read about it in a local paper.

“Calligraphy was always something I was intrigued with,” she said. “So I decided I would check it out and see what I could do with it.”

A couple years after joining, however, Schelble found she no longer had the time after having children. But she never stopped “dabbling” in the art, and just a few years ago re-entered the guild after taking some calligraphy classes with the Abington Area Community Classroom.

Ann Marie Kumpas, of Clarks Summit, joined the guild about two years ago, and said the best aspect of it for her is “the incentive you get from being around other calligraphers.”

Schelble agreed, adding, “And to be with people who are just as excited about it as you are – that’s the big thing.”

The Calligraphers Guild of NEPA is open to anyone who shares the members’ passion for beautiful lettering, and annual dues are required. Additional information about the group can be requested through its Facebook page at

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