March 2011 BSA Newsletter (PDF)
I just read recently that Mark Stevenson’s book “An Optimist’s Tour of the Future” borrows from Abraham Lincoln’s message in 1862 to Congress and speaks of disenthralling ourselves of ‘the dogmas of the quiet past’ in order to ‘think anew’.
The article indicates that a key lesson of adulthood is the need to unlearn and to pose the question how many other false nostrums still infect my brain, unexamined, obstructing the arrival of fresh thoughts? We think that we know certain things to be true, but these things may turn out to be false and until we unlearn them, they get in the way of new understanding. It made me think of the so-called BSA Endowment. Many felt for certain that BSA had an endowment way back when and for those of us that have been in the organization 25 years or more, we have heard that statement many times. Last year the trustees, in fact, had asked the officers to investigate the issue of an endowment and report back to them if such a thing existed or not.
It was considered very important to determine the existence, or not, of such an endowment to know if the board had been spending our funds correctly and legally. An endowment has particular relevance to the officers and board of directors as stewards of such a fund. An endowment is a gift to charity which may not be spent in its entirety. Typically terms permit the expenditure of income but not principal, etc. And the general rules go on.
As President (and a worrier) and in order to disenthrall myself and ultimately the BSA membership at large, I began to visit the Burchfield Penney Art Center archives where BSA records are housed. With Tullis Johnson’s blessings, I searched through boxes of papers to find the “Endowment”. What follows are some examples of financial records from early on.
*Hand written notes from December 7, 1921 have no mention of an endowment fund.
*In 1939 there was a ‘Thrift Account’ of $364.93 and again no mention of an endowment by the then auditor, Theo O. Schroeer.
*In 1941 the balance in the thrift account was $272.05 and again no mention of an endowment.
*And then suddenly in 1943 the Treasurer’s report to the General Membership on October 29, 1943 states that the balance in the Checking Account was $278.75 and the balance in the Endowment Fund Account was $24.00. This is the first mention of an endowment account and I found no minutes explaining who donated the $24.00 or for what purpose it was established. I also found a bank book from 1943 that carries the name “Endowment Account’ on it with a total of $24.01.
Fast forward to minutes from 1971: John Quinn (past President and jolly person) read how “the endowment fund was started years ago but we still don’t know the purpose of the fund”. Then in 1972 a report by Linwood Law, Trustee of BSA mentions he left intact for 2 years the BSA Special Interest Account ($587.00) and the BSA Endowment Fund Account ($587.00).
The information provided here is just a fraction of what has been searched and to many it may not be especially interesting. However, some of you may feel as I do and that is, actually disenthralled of past dogmas and ready to think anew! There is no endowment. It was just a term that was incorrectly used on an account at one time in the past and had taken on a life of its own over the following years.
By the time this reaches you, the upload for the 2011 Spring Exhibition will be completed. I wish you all the best of outcomes and thank you for participating. Melissa Bennett, our juror will have her work cut out for her with the many entries that have been received and to date we number into the 70’s. Don’t miss the opening on the First Friday, May 6th from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Thanks to Paula Sciuk, V.P. and Exhibition Chair, a special reception for Past Presidents will be held earlier that evening to celebrate their contributions to BSA including the prestigious Past Presidents’ Award to be presented at the Art Dialogue opening reception. Thank you Rita Auerbach for continuing to keep the 21 other “wise ones” together and working toward a common goal. The exhibition will be dedicated to the memory of past president, Sherwin Greenberg who for many years took care of BSA photography.
You have also received the mega prospectus for our 115th Catalogue Exhibition. It was not a simple matter to impart so much information in a concise manner. I thank Barbara Evans for her tireless revisions as she plowed through paragraphs of text that were continually tossed her way by both Paula and me. I know Paula is excited about the 120th year celebration and we are hoping everyone joins in and takes part in some way. Paula will address more of this in the future and I just ask that you lend a hand if she reaches out to you.
The Open Membership exhibit will take place in August 2011. This is where all artist members of BSA, Associate and Exhibiting artists, will hang together; party together. Exact information to follow.
Patti Harris is once again in the Artpark groove and has spent time with the Artpark administration coming up with many collaborative events. The short story is that we will have two exhibitions at BSA’s Artpark Gallery. The first will be for Exhibiting members only beginning in mid-May and the second will be the Open Membership exhibit mentioned previously. Again, information to follow.
ADDITIONAL BOARD BUZZ:
1. Studio Visits
We talked about not only continuing the studio visits, even though in some months attendance was low, but we also are requesting that members think about giving demonstrations in whatever art form they are currently working. Catherine Tillou has organized a visit and demo by Susan Budash in March coupled with visits to Adele Becker’s and Ginny Lohr’s studios in the same building. (see Calendar). In May, Mark Lavatelli will give a demo at his studio on Auburn Ave. and in June Barbara Evans will open the “wonder gardens” at her home for camera and/or sketching/painting activities or simply art talk. When sign up dates are posted, make sure you rsvp as soon as possible because some studios have space limitations. If you wish to be placed on the Artist as Presenter list, give Catherine a call at 883-1417.
Coni Minneci has agreed to chair a fundraiser for BSA along with marvelous suggestions and assistance from BSA trustee, Peter Heffley. Peter invited Coni and I to meet with Vern Stein of Vern Stein Art & Frame in Williamsville in January. A basic outline was developed and I think we all felt we had a productive meet. The date set for this fundraiser to be held at the Vern Stein Gallery is Friday, September 16, 2011 from 6 to 9 p.m. The committee has now mushroomed to include Russell Ram, Sue Miller and Richard Christian. Together the committee will be developing an informational letter that will reach the membership before long. In the meantime, mark the date!
3. Art Flicks:
Do you wish you could spend more time talking to your fellow BSA artists about art movements, art history or renowned art contemporaries? Well, your wish will begin to materialize on Wednesday, March 30th at 6:30 p.m. at the home of Gary Wolfe. We have chosen for our first (of many – is the plan) video “Guest of Cindy Sherman”. Why not begin this venture with a former local celeb, I thought? Besides, Gary saw this, enjoyed it a lot and also owns a jumbo-tron. We expect to follow the viewing with a short discussion about the artist(s), context or the video itself. Be prepared to end the evening around 9:30 pm. Gary’s space is limited to 15 people so, first come first serve. If there is a great deal of interest, we will move to a public space to accommodate more people in the future. In addition, BSA will purchase the DVD to begin a library of art videos for viewing by all members. A member will simply call first to arrange a pick-up time, and a return time. If you miss the group showing, you can arrange another yourself. We will need someone to take over the job of handing out and retrieving the videos but for now I am willing to do so on a temporary basis. Call 741-2229 after March 30th.
4. Official BSA Address:
A singular permanent address needed to be established for all current and future correspondence. In that regard we opened a post office box. This will be used for BSA outside business correspondence. Dues and registration fees will continue to be sent to the appropriate Chairs as usual. Buffalo Society of Artists, P.O. Box 718, Buffalo, N.Y. 14207-718
5. Video Archive Project:
George Grace has gained an assistant. Dianne Baker will be setting the schedules for the taping of WNY artists as we move forward with the project.
6. Logo Design:
Erin Harris has presented the board with her final designs and one was selected. It is essentially a re-design of our medallion along with other graphics that will be used for the e-flashes, newsletters and publicity. She has done a wonderful job and is working with us to develop a more contemporary look as well.
I end with informing you of a pleasurable visit to Daemen College today. The 2011 All High Exhibition for high school students in WNY opened in the Goldman-Greenfield Gallery on campus. BSA began to give this award in the late 1980’s with Carol Townsend’s suggestion. It was personally rewarding to present our award on behalf of BSA to Ed Pokoj (Po-kay) from St. Joseph’s Collegiate H.S. and to meet his teacher Catherine Ward.
May we continue to do significant things!