As I finished helping install the BSA Spring Exhibition at Artspace, I took a moment to look over the work and was once again struck by the quality, variety and creativity of what our members had made. The Buffalo Society of Artists was born 128 years ago in a response to the assertion that “There is no art in Buffalo!” Today, there is indeed “art in Buffalo,” as we have a vibrant, diverse and energetic art community as well as a wide range of art groups, organizations, galleries and museums. Indeed, the local art landscape and its role in our community continue to morph and grow.
We have affirmed in our new mission statement that we “embrace visual exploration as critical to the voice of our time,” but what does this mean? How does BSA, in its embrace, facilitate visual exploration? How does BSA hear and respond to the “voice of our time?” Who is speaking, and what are we as an organization and as individual members offering to the conversation?
These are important questions. They go the very heart of what we are to be and what we are to do. In an effort to hear “the voice of our times” we are embarking on a Concept Mapping process that will lead to a three year Strategic Plan outlining how we will begin to go about accomplishing our mission. On April 27, 2019 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM at the brand new Hyatt’s All Things Creative art supply store (1941 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14207) we will hold a meeting to gather ideas on how the BSA can better serve local artists and the Greater Buffalo community.
We will be sending invitations not only to BSA member artists, Board members and Trustees, but also to non-BSA artists, representatives from other not-for-profit visual arts organizations, members of the Buffalo Arts Commission and the media that cover the arts, gallery directors, community leaders, preservationists, city planners, college art educators and we will be inviting a representative from Hyatts itself. We would like to tap the creative ideas from the various stakeholders on the local visual arts scene from both inside and outside the BSA.
Needless to say, you the BSA members and your input are particularly important to this process. We sincerely wish to hear what you have to say, so please plan to set aside this time to join us at Hyatt’s. After the initial brainstorming meeting, opportunities to sort and rate ideas will be made available online at a special website. After the information has been collected and analyzed, we will again call a meeting in June to examine and respond to the results of all stakeholder input.
Once again, I cannot express how important this process and your participation in it will be for the BSA in order to move forward as an effective visual arts association, as a responsible not-for-profit organization and as a group that wishes to broaden its range of supporters and grantors. Your input will help us develop effective and relevant programming that “embrace[s] visual exploration as critical to the voice of our time.”
Watch your email and snail mail for details and invitations, and thank you in advance for planning to attend the meeting and participate in the Concept Mapping process. I look forward to collaborating with you in this effort.