I am honored to have been elected the 77th president of Buffalo Society of Artists, an organization composed of many creative and artistic individuals. “Thank you” to George Grace, outgoing president, for holding the rudder steady for the last two years and “thank you” new Board of Directors for your support. With the knowledge and understanding of our mission, history and our public persona, I will do all I can to oversee the best possible future for all the members of the BSA. We all know what a unique and historic group we are and with the energy, talent and competence of this current board, I know we will continue to grow and become an ever more vibrant presence in the local art community.
We continue to expand our ranks with the acceptance of six new (to us) artists that Gary Wolfe showcased recently in an E-Flash. Welcome, Paul Alico, Ray Dell’Amico, John Gerovac, Mark Lavatelli, Paul Rybarczyk and Richard Tomasello. All male…how did that happen? Everyone present at the West Side Rowing Club to welcome new members had a fun time listening to the presentations by our new “guys” and enjoying the treats provided by Patti Harris’ committee. The evening sky was gorgeous, the door to the outdoors was open and the view of the Buffalo waterfront was perfection.
Our Annual Dinner Meeting at the Buffalo Yacht Club, attended by 63 members and guests, was organized by Catherine Tillou. If you didn’t make it, you missed music by the incomparable Pro Bono (Jim Minneci and Lance Madden) whilst viewing revolving images set up by Gary Wolfe at master controls, of past BSA artists’ works from the Burchfield Penney collection. Those images were provided courtesy of Stephen Houseknecht from a recent exhibition at M & T Bank. We presented awards of appreciation to Mort Spiller, now a Trustee Emeritus and to Ted Pieztrak, former Director of the Burchfield Penney Art Center and long time friend to BSA. Keynote speaker Sandy Olsen, Director of U.B. Art Galleries, wowed us with a wonderfully inspiring presentation on the newly installed Cravens Room at the U.B. Anderson, a “must see” if you have not. Sandy also projected images of Bruce Adams’ Beyond/In installation at the Starlight Studio along with commentary about installations now being shown at the U.B. Anderson from Beyond. Sandy’s explanation was presented to motivate BSA artists to begin thinking about our 115th Catalogue Exhibition extravaganza.
Prior to Sandy’s talk, I presented some remarks related to our next exhibition year. We will be 120 years old in 2011 and we will make it a memorable one by presenting the membership with new and challenging possibilities.
First Exhibition of 2011: Our spring exhibition will be held at Art Dialogue with an opening reception on First Friday, May 6th. Both Exhibiting and Associate members will be required to do a digital upload and your artwork will be juried by Melissa Bennett, curator of contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario. Think…two artworks or it could be one, ready by March and make sure your images are the best quality they can be. The prospectus and Melissa’s CV are enclosed and remember that it is available on our BSA website should you misplace it. Our new Exhibitions Chair and Vice President, Paula Sciuk, has worked with Barbara Evans to include all those important dates. Please, read the prospectus and remember help is available. Do not worry if you make a mistake during the upload. Call Gary, Patti, Paula, or me and we will help.
Second Exhibition of 2011: Because the character of the 115th Catalogue Exhibition will be so unique to BSA, I have written a separate list of “Points to Ponder” to give you more time to prepare. Please go over them with the knowledge that a formal prospectus will reach you some time next month.
We have enlarged our 115th Catalogue Exhibition by utilizing two venues simultaneously. One to be held at the Carnegie Art Center opening on November 10, 2011 and the other at the U.B. Anderson Art Gallery opening two days later on November 12, 2011. The hope is to have a third exhibition of past BSA members’ works who are in art heaven running concurrently. All the new work will be curated by Sara Kellner, formerly Visual Arts Director of Hallwalls for about 8 years and Director of Diverse Works Art Space in Houston, Texas. Sara is now the principal of Kellner Consulting, focusing on consulting in the arts, including organizational and creative planning, public art and fund development, etc.
Work selected for installation will be displayed on the first floor of the U.B. Anderson Gallery. Work selected as non-installation will be shown at the Carnegie Art Center. For additional information, read the separate insert labeled “Points to Ponder”.
Next, mark your calendar for Thursday, January 20, 2011 and plan to attend a presentation by John Massier, Curator at Hallwalls addressing the topic “How to write an exhibition proposal”. This is significant for every artist and not just for those interested in writing a proposal but for those artists who have never written a proposal before and would like to learn for future endeavors. In addition, it’s free. We will meet at the Burchfield Penney Art Center Conference room at 6:30 P.M. Register to attend by calling or emailing new Board Member, Elaine Kessel at 634-4853 or firstname.lastname@example.org by January 18th.
Board Buzz: What else is going on with the internal workings of BSA you might wonder? Well, after several discussions, in the past and also more recently, and with an in-person visit from an insurance broker, the board voted to secure General Liability and Directors & Officers Insurance policies. At this time, we are able to afford such an expenditure and hopefully will be able to continue. In today’s litigious society, the board felt it was time to offer this protection to the society’s officers and directors. It has allowed our current board members the ability to sleep peacefully.
Board member Richard Christian continues to work on cataloguing the hundreds of pieces of BSA papers filling manila folders and binders at the Burchfield Penney Archives. If you are interested in helping on a very worthwhile project, this would be it. Contact Richard or me if you are interested. We are aiding not only the BSA but also the Burchfield Penney archives sector. The project is long term and it is my hope we see it to the end (which by the way, may be two years for this phase). Ultimately, anyone will be able to have digital access to the 100+ years of BSA archived materials.
I have been hanging out at the archives as well as working on tracking our supposed “endowment” and will formally report on such by next month.
Our Video Archive Project has been slowed but will be pursued in earnest shortly. We were fortunate to have video-taped David Pratt before his passing, thus highlighting the significance of continuing this project.
We have engaged Erin Harris to begin work on a logo design or “new look” for BSA, and when it is narrowed to a couple of choices, we will be calling on you to make a final decision at a General Membership meeting.
We have also had some Standing Committee changes with our new board as well. Patti Harris will be Standing Committee Communications Chair (formerly known as the constitutionally designated Publicity Chair), Gary Wolfe will morph into Membership Standing Committee Chair, Bill Maggio (our reigning treasurer) will carry on as Standing Committee Chair for Nominations and a yet to be named Standing Committee Chair for Education remains open.
Both Board members Norine Spurling and Nita Easter are in writing mode. Norine as Recording Secretary and Nita as Corresponding Secretary. They are both suited to their respective tasks and tend to write poetically and profusely…so prepare to receive some extra mail.
Len Kagelmacher has taken up the mantle as Website Administrator for us and we are so very grateful. Once into the New Year, techno Len and committee will meet with Ingenious, our web designer, to offer some suggestions for improvements. Which reminds me, we need to prompt those of you who have not done so to please get your image up on the BSA website. Again, help is a phone call away.
Fotini Renzoni and Andy Russell continue to supply help within the framework of exhibitions and education. As you can read, we continue to grow and have already made improvements. With all the Board working together and responding to the needs of the membership, I feel we can find a shared vision of what the BSA can be and find adequate resources to create and maintain exemplary programs. Stay tuned…there is more to come.
Happy Everything to Everyone and a Happy New Year, too.