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Friends Of The Visual Arts

Rating: 4.57 stars   14 reviews 1,552

Address:

Po Box 7498 Salem OR 97303 USA

Mission:

Arts education

Programs:

Arts education

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(503) 365-3911
www.friendsofvisarts.org

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Reviews for Friends Of The Visual Arts

Rating: 5 stars  

I want to answer Playswithmudd. I am one of t he founders of the Willamette Art Center. At this time there is only one founder on a board of 7. Without the founders, there would not be a community place in Salem to "play with mud". Also, I have been one of over a dozen a volunteer monitors who keep the place open. Without the monitors there would be no Willamette Art Center. They answer the phone, sell gallery pieces, supplies, classes, memberships and studio passes, answer technical questions and clean up the mess every shift. For their work, they get a limited number of pieces fired. Their benefit to the center outweighs any compensation. There is only one "founder" on the list of monitors at this time. Monitorships rotate. Those who are interested can get on a list .
The Willamette Art Center is the one place I go where everyone is friendly to everyone else. It is the place I go to unwind. If you think the WAC is "cliquey" try volunteering. The Willamette Art Center is working hard to bring the community the benefit of pottery classes for the lowest cost possible. Another organization tried doing the same thing for Salem without volunteers. They closed after 5 years but still use the money making event that the Willamette Art Center's founders started. I challenge "Playswithmudd" to come to the WAC, go to board meetings and make a difference.
Unlike "playswithmudd" I refuse to hide behind anonymity. Cindy Nielsen

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 4 stars  

The Willamette Art Center, the community ceramics arts center, run by the Friends of the Visual Arts is my home away from home. It offers a place where I can go to do creative work with like minded people and relieve the stress of daily life. I have been a caregiver for my elderly mother for 4 and half years, as long as the center has been in existence. WIthout the center, I would have burned out from the stress of watching my mother decline and having to become increasingly more responsible for her daily care . The center gives me a purpose and a way to express myself and the satisfaction that comes from working with my hands. The classes taught at the center offer a lively interchange of ideas and new techniques. The self actualization gained from my experience on the board of the Friends of the Visual Arts and as a student creating new works in pottery has relieved what would truly be a dreary existence.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been able to grow and develop my own creative abilities while watching others do the same. We give back a lot to the community including Family Clay Sundays which gives families an opportunity to do work creatively together. We organize and run the Artisans' Village at the Oregon State Fair show casing craftsmen at work and we throw more that 1000 Empty Bowls every year and sell them to benefit Marion Polk Food Share to feed the hungry.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would actively recruit the arts business community to sit on the board of the Friends of the Visual Arts to explore better ways to serve the community. I would cross train our many volunteers in the duties of running a community ceramics studio.

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Many of the reviews that are posted here are from people who get free studio time in exchange for a minimal amount of "work". While there is good instruction and the facilities are good, the organization is cliquey and people who aren't accepted by the clique are treated badly. The board members are also people who founded the organization and they implement many self-serving policies, put their work before the work of others, etc.

In reading the reviews it might be helpful to look at the profile of the person and the "What did you do" to determine the person's affiliation with the Willamette Art Center. Most people who "volunteer" actually exchange work or chores for free studio time (which is not volunteering).

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have both seen and experienced how this organization works.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Remove all founders from positions where they receive free studio time. Bring in some people with "business sense" and "common sense" to run the organization.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

The Willamette Art Center in Salem, Oregon has become a great place for many people in Salem. The center is for anyone who is interested in working with both clay and glass. It works for artists who are deeply interested in their craft, for those who just want to take a class to find out if it is something they like and even for the family who might want to spend a Sunday afternoon working with clay. This can be done at a program called "Family clay Sunday". I have been involved at the WAC
volunteering as a Monitor and also making bowls for the 'Empty Bowls" project where we make bowls to be sold at a fund raising sale for Marion/ Polk food Share. We made over $15,000 last year.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Having a place to work on my own creations. I have had a studio at my own home but find it is better to have the mess somewhere else. I also love to interact with all of the other artist/potters who come to the WAC.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The only thing that I would change is having more space.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

The people at the Willamette Art Center are friendly and helpful. I have been in several Classes at the art center and have enjoyed them so much, the instructors are Great and I have learned so much from them.
It's also a great place for the kids to learn and become budding artists.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen class sizes grow, and family clay Sundays for kids fill up every weekend.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would have more daytime classes.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a "late bloomer" in the field of pottery. Several years ago I was given a gift certificate for a class. I was elated and couldn't wait for my class to start. The instructor was 1st rate & shared his passion for pottery in a way that made even my wobbly novice attempts feel like potential masterpieces. I have been happily exploring my creative side at the Willamette Art Center ever since.



The Willamette Art Center offers a wide variety of artistic opportunities for the entire community. Classes and workshops include: hand building, wheel throwing, pottery painting, glazing, high & low fire, Raku, sculpture, glass blowing... and are offered for every age, from children and young families to retirees.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have had the joy of seeing not only my own personal growth in the arts, but also the growth of countless people who have blossomed creatively after taking a class or workshop. An especially fond memory is of one of our youth scholorsip recipients, who sculpted and raku fired a small replica of a terracotta soldier. She and her family were thrilled with the results, and several artists and visitors to the WAC were surprised to discover that it had been created by a student.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

encourage more people to volunteer!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

I received a gift certificate for a class from my family.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I heard about the art center a year ago and started going for ceramics. It was so amazing to find such a place, full of helpful, enjoyable people. I drove at least once a week down from the Portland metro area. I hope it continues to be a viable part of the community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Working and volunteering for ceramics

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

The Willamette Art Center is an amazing hands-on ceramics center. We started over 5 years ago from scratch with a 'crew' of dedicated volunteers. Slow and steady has been our moto; increasing classes for all ages and skill levels; offering scholarships to aspiring potters; and, instigating the ever popular Family Clay Sunday which is partially funded by us as our way of giving back to the community. We also donate to Marion-Polk Food Share by putting on Empty Bowls. Another big project for us is Artisan's Village at the Oregon State Fair.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the joy of a child being able to take a class and express his/or artistic creativity; talking to prospective students about classes and what our center offers to them.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not change a thing! Everything is working!!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

This organization is a wonderful way to become a part of the creative community. Any level of ability is welcomed and encouraged to flourish. Learning basic and advanced skills happens with a talented group of teachers and being surrounded by so many really talented artists inspires to greater push yourself to try new ideas.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Developing relationships with people who are making a difference in the community and enjoying the creative spirit at the same time - what could be better?!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

A bit more space would be nice. I have the feeling WAC is going to grow as more people discover it!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Its hard to believe that this is the Willamette Art Center 5th year as a non-profit. We continue to grow slowly and find more ways everyday to provide the only Clay and Glassblowing classes to the people of Marion and Polk counties. An amazing place for both adults and children to expand their imaginations and broaden their horizons.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As an artist I have improved my skills and look forward to creating beautiful pottery to give to friends and family.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would like to see more fund raising to support an expanded paid staff

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

The Friends of the Visual Arts put on an amazing benefit for Marion Polk Food Share called Empty Bowls. This year they donated $15,300! What an amazing event!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Empty Bowls

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Let more people know about this great organization and the events that they produce.

 
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