For my entire life as a painter, 50 years, I’ve benefited enormously from the Art Association - as a student, member, board member, teacher, and exhibitor. What a splendid connection to have, associating with other artists and art lovers of all ages in the ambience of an organization devoted entirely to the visual arts! After studying at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design (MFA’69), I had my first exhibition at the Art Center and have had two others since then along with work in the gallery shop and in group shows. (A retrospective is scheduled for June 18-Aug 8.) Many staff members and artists I’ve met there have become dear friends. The organization has progressed through a remarkable evolution in the effort to assist artists and townfolk in the pursuit of art. I can testify that this is a vibrantly active and creative non-profit exploring what art in the community can mean for citizens. I’m eternally grateful for what it has done for me.
The few staff that work regularly at the Art Center do a great job handling a wide range of visual arts activities: educational classes, outreach to youth/disadvantaged populations, exhibition space, retail, youth camps, clay/jewelry studio,etc. The result is a a wide-ranging impact felt at many levels in the community. AND they have fun doing it. Visitors and students can feel the creative juices flowing. Would that all non-profits have such a lean, energetic, and positive impact. Kudos!!
I participated in the 30/30 art exhibit. It was a well designed program and staff was helpful and friendly through every step of the process. The exhibit space was perfect for a large collection of work and volunteers provided name tags, tax forms, and refreshments to artists in a low-key but efficient manner. I would definitely like to be involved in this organization in the future!
I have been associated with the Ann Arbor Art Assocation for about 35 years. I started out as a volunteer helping to decide on which exhibits would be in the gallery, I was on the Board and then I was the Exhibit Gallery Director for about 7 years. I loved that job because I was doing exactly what I wanted to do, support the visual arts and artists in my community. I went on to other work but continued to be a member, promoter and user of their services. I believe the arts can change lives and my community is much richer by having the Art Association in our downtown. I have just become more active as a volunteer by joining the Board of Directors. It is great to have been part of a vibrant community organization for so long and I am excited about becoming a more active volunteer for the organization again.
When I was at art school thirteen years ago at the University of Michigan, I volunteered at the Ann Arbor Art Center where I worked with children in the drop-in studio. It was so fun to see those kids lose themselves in their projects. Once an 8 year old girl came into the studio bickering at her 6 year old brother, and as soon as she started swirling colorful paint across an African mask, she forgot all about her gripe with her sibling. Today I run a creative web development firm in downtown Ann Arbor. Luckily, most of my days are full of color, art, and fun. I’m a member of the Board of Directors at the Art Center where it’s my goal to make sure there is a place downtown Ann Arbor where people of all ages can find, make, and experience art. Many years ago art helped me find myself, and if I can help others find art, I’ll feel right with the world.”
My experience interning with Marsha Chamberlin and the Ann Arbor Art Center staff was truly enriching, and I felt that what tasks were assigned to me actually made a difference in pulling the entire show together. I was a part of the project from conception to exhibition, and the evolution of ideas and plans of action were met with enthusiasm and extraordinary collaboration between the Center's members, with the out come being a beautifully orchestrated and successful fundraiser show. Organizing and directing gallery exhibitions is exactly the line of work I plan to be in in my future, and my internship at the Ann Arbor Art Center was a wonderful opportunity to get a personalized, hands on experience.
14 years ago, I learned drawing techniques in a class at the Art Center that I still use today. For years, I've brought smiles to the faces of friends and family when they open the wrapping paper on a gift and saw a package from the Art Center store (such unique and beautiful gifts). I recently watched a classroom of children get completely engaged in an art project. And now I am on the Board of Directors and hope to see all the above get repeated many times!
I have been involved with the Art Center since I was in college and it's a wonderful place for people interested the arts. The Art Center's classes, exhibitions, and shop are a great addition to downtown Ann Arbor!
I was an artist participant in the 30X30 benefit show at the Ann Arbor Art Association. 30 artists each brought 30 works of art, and half of the proceeds went to benefit youth programs. I sold 18 of my paintings. It was an extremely positive experience- tons of artists and shoppers stormed the building last Saturday- three of my works were gone before I even saw them on the wall. There were crowds all day, refreshments, media coverage, and helpful staff. It was a very convivial atmosphere, and involved the entire community.
I recently volunteered at the 30x30 sale to benefit Art For Kids. There were people lined up around the corner to get in and it was very exciting. I got a special Art For Kids t-shirt for helping out that day. The event was set up well and I felt prepared to handle any question that came my way.