As your new President I am pleased to welcome you back from a most unusual period of isolation, separation and fear. Even though the pandemic is still with us, we have learned how to live with the unknown and overcome our fears while finding ways to function in a near-normal manner.
For the first time in nearly 100 years we will present AAG Meetings in a hybrid format – face-to-face and via zoom. We have worked hard since June to perfect this hybrid format (thanks to John Erwin for letting his workshops be the experimental lab) that will provide a positive experience for those in the room and for those at home. This will allow the participants from home to hear what facilitators say and will also allow them to be heard by everyone in attendance. I will continue to do the critique along with Ann Osgood and Art Smith, who will join us from Mt. Holly, New Jersey.
AAG received a $6000 grant from the AZ Commission on the Arts from the CARES Act that paid for two new laptops and the new ATEM Mini Pro switcher that allows professional level control of the audio and video. The Cares Grant also paid for printing and mailing the newsletter for all members last year. Thanks to Rae Getz for doing such a great job producing the newsletter and keeping everyone informed of AAG events. If you enjoyed getting the newsletter by mail, you may want to consider upgrading your membership to continue to receive it by mail.
Another exciting change this year is the requirement for every artist who enters an AAG juried exhibition to include a brief bio/artist statement describing the type of art you make and your background. This will help viewers know more about you and your art. Galleries and many non-AAG exhibitions require this. This will help you know how to describe your artwork when people ask. Jasmine Andrews-Colibri is the new Vice President for Exhibitions, and she brings a fresh vision to our upcoming exhibitions.
This year will be an exciting year with lots of opportunities for creative thinking and establishing new practices in every aspect of our lives. Our work lives have been transformed, travel has been cut back, masks are federally mandated, and vaccinations abound. But for how long will these new paradigms exist? I think we will never be able to return to the pre-Covid life. Zoom is a part of life and allows us to connect with others outside our geographic boundaries and relieves us from having to travel to attend meetings or workshops.
We need to continually look for new ways to connect, new ways to communicate, new ways to exist as artists and as an arts organization. Technology is changing rapidly and we all need to keep up or we risk becoming irrelevant and obsolete. AAG continues to look for ways to stay relevant, however that is going to require an open mind as the world continues to rapidly change. In order to maintain relevance we have to invest our time and resources in new, creative ways, taking advantage of technological advances and new ways of conducting our business. I am confident that we can remain relevant but it will take effort from all of us to do so.
If you have a suggestion for how to improve AAG send me an email at email@example.com, or call/text me at 602 828 4713.