Hello Artists!

Throughout the month of September, signs of life at AAG glimmered and sparkled among the heat and storms. Open Studio, the heartbeat of AAG has been meeting in person for a few months now thanks to Alicia Plogman. I first met Alicia Plogman when she was my student in Drawing 1 class at Paradise Valley Community College. She impressed me with the vitality expressed in her artwork. Since I joined AAG in 2011, Alicia Plogman has been the most consistent, reliable and passionate team member an organization could ask for. Throughout the pandemic Alicia has kept her eye on the building and everything that goes on there. She and Alice Pelchat met people individually to allow them to shop at the Art Supply Exchange. The ASE brought in much needed revenue which helped keep the lights on.
September 21, 2021 marked the first face to face general meeting since February 18, 2020. 25 people attended in person, while 27 attended via zoom. Presenting the meetings, workshops, exhibitions and community outreach programs in a hybrid format is quite the technical challenge for this guy who doesn’t know his AC from his DC. Nevertheless, with Tess’ help, support and guidance we were able to hit the ground running with the new hybrid format.
The new slate of officers was approved unanimously. Volunteers all, these men and women are giving their time and energy so you and I can talk about, dissect and revel in beauty by hand. We are all members of the same group: Creatives. More about that later in the newsletter.
With a video camera connected to the TV monitor, I was on the big screen and on the home screens of those watching from afar. A wireless microphone allowed me to roam the audience giving it to those who wished to comment on the critique. The critique was a media circus, both Ann and I conducted a lively critique of 10 works in the room and two submitted on the AAG website. Never before in the history of AAG has an event been presented in such a way. It was quite the moment. The crowd was engaged in the artworks presented, especially regarding Velvet Tetrault’s oil painting marking the beginning of a five painting series depicting scenes from a story involving muscular, nude Satyrs attacking a winged female bird goddess. Much discussion focused on the scene depicted, the figures’ anatomy, development of the background and drama in the figures’ stances. Velvet has my admiration for the ambition and scope of her artworks and I look forward to seeing the other parts of this series.
A plea was made for volunteers to assist in AAG activities. The meetings, open studio, life drawing, workshops, exhibitions community outreach, art supply exchange, artstravaganza, and the myriad of events at AAG can’t happen without the contributions by many, many volunteers. From setting up tables, editing the newsletter, organizing helpers to install an art show, donating food for the Veterans art program lunches, overseeing the landscaping, keeping the books, updating the website, holding the raffle, managing the artist of the month program and the list goes on. Each of these activities is important. Every member is important whether participating in person or virtually. This is why a lot of time, energy, and expense was spent on the audio/video equipment now at the front of the room and which controls the sound and images shown on the big screen and at home.
I look forward to your feedback. I am constantly learning and trying to take advantage of every moment I have, so I look to all of you to help me make a difference. AAG is making a difference in the world. AAG is very important to me as a family. I have made many friends at AAG and also fallen in love. You may or may not find the love of your life at AAG, but if you participate in events at AAG your life will be positively impacted.
I hope all of you find joy and happiness this year.