As I write this, another AAG year is quickly coming to a close. I am stunned that it is here so quickly. The time went by in a blink. From my perspective, it has been a stellar year.
Distilling our mission down to its core, AAG promotes the visual arts through education, exhibition, and outreach. Underneath all of that is community. We are a unique community of artists with common values. We come together with compassion, creativity, encouragement, and an openness to growing, expressing, and exchanging ideas. When I speak about AAG people are astounded to hear about what we do, who we are, and how we serve not only one another, but a broader community as well. There is no other arts organization quite like ours.
I am enthusiastic about the Perennial Picassos, the newest segment of our outreach program that will bloom Sept 20th. This program will address the changing needs of some of our members and their friends or family members who have lost some or all of their independence due to illness or circumstance, be it temporary or permanently. This program, like the others, has the potential to be cathartic for both the participants and the volunteers who run it.
These past few months I have been thinking about our upcoming anniversary…. 90 years. It is something to be immensely proud of. There are few organizations that have been around for as long. It is something to honor and celebrate, and we will do so in style. Many exciting plans are coming together to make this a celebratory time. The first is the exhibit at the Sky Harbor Museum (prospectus). The deadline for entry is August 10. We will host a day at the end of July or the beginning of August to assist you with your entry, as it is a mailed-in digital entry. Stay tuned through eblasts and the website. If you are not signed up for eblasts you might want to be sure to do so. This is a great opportunity! I hope you decide to get involved in planning or participating in some of the other events that will happen throughout the year. There are many opportunities. Email me if you have any questions about the exhibit or if you want to volunteer.
This afternoon I attended a memorial service for a dear friend. Lila Bush was 94 and one of the most delightful people I have known, though I only knew her a short while. We met at a time of her life when her character was fully formed and layered with a patina of a life well lived.
What is remarkable about Lila is that she was remembered for the way she made people feel. Story after story, the theme remained the same. I share this not so much to share about this personal loss, I share it to plant a thought that has been rolling around inside me these past few days: As creatives we master skills to visually give voice to our emotional experiences. The more honest the expression, the deeper the impact. The depth of the impact is directly proportionate to the rawness of what is being revealed. My questions to you is – do you know how your art makes others feel? And if not, what do you need to do to find out?
All of the art that I love is because of how it makes me feel when I am with it. That does not diminish or dilute the skills or techniques needed to make it. Quite the contrary, sometimes the awe of the skill is the emotion that is experienced. Sometimes it is the memory of the person who made it or how it was acquired. Mostly it is the work itself.
As we bid farewell for the summer, I want to thank you for this opportunity. I am humbled and grateful to hold this position, and excitedly look to the year ahead.
May the summer treat you kindly and inspire you wildly.
Tess Mosko Scherer, President, Arizona Artists Guild