3 New Year's Resolutions
Þ Resolution 1—Improve myself and my art by joining one or more of the local art groups
Þ Resolution 2—Become an active member of each group I join
Þ Resolution 3— Remember that it is time to pay my yearly dues!
Why did I choose these particular resolutions? Quite frankly, to grow as artists, we must have viable, flourishing art communities to nurture our progress. Here in the Fresno/Clovis area alone we have at least five such art groups, and I can think of at least seven within driving distance of these cities! Sadly, dwindling membership has caused many of these valuable resources to cut back on their activities. Fewer artists are stepping up and maintaining our art community. If you want to stop the drain of this valuable resource, stop sitting on the sidelines and actively look for an art group that meets your needs. When you find that group, look around and see how you can contribute to its healthy growth. If you are already a member of a group, make it one of your New Year’s Resolutions to become a more active member. Joining a local art group can be rewarding both personally and professionally.
Why is it so important to associate with other artists? Well, although you can create art in a vacuum, if your art is never evaluated by your peers, you may simply be stuck repeating the same type of art and art subjects at the same skill level forever. Peer groups challenge us to stretch our skills, reach for new goals and generally provide support when we are feeling down. It is important to seek out those who are Sympatico with our ideals and feelings about our art. Local art groups can be irreplaceable in this area. Let’s face it, while our friends and family members may ooh and ahh over our art, they really can’t provide an informed opinion about it. In addition, most of us suspect they are praising our art because they love us, and not in actual fact because they actually love our work or are really interested in art.
I discovered that while most of the same local artists also belonged to many of the groups in my area, each group did have a different “feel” to it, depending on the group’s mission statement and who was actually directing the groups focus. In the Fresno/Clovis area alone, there are five or six art groups, all with different standards and goals and there are at least seven within driving distance! One of the associations is simply a painting group that gets together to talk, paint or draw and critique each other’s work twice a month. Another aims its standards for professionals and is very picky about what they accept in their shows. A third group is warm and welcoming to new and beginning artists and seeks to encourage its members to strive to improve their skills. A fourth group is a very loose association that tracks events from all the others and tries to find places for artists to exhibit and show, etc. All of these groups have valuable insights into the local art world, so why not stop sitting around and make it your mission to grow as an artist this year by getting involved?
In : President's message