The SAAG Board, and myself in particular, want to thank you for the wonderful SAAG Members Show. The pieces that were submitted were very high quality and we had a great turnout for the opening.
Despite Covid-19, SAAG has added new members – from 156 to 170 in the last year. In addition, our bank account is in good shape with a current balance of $3352.00. Unfortunately, attendance at our Member Meetings has been a concern. Member Meetings are meant for artists to become acquainted with each other, network, share techniques, opportunities, and experiences, and to receive feedback and advice from other artists for growth as an artist and our artist community.
Our guest artists are member artists or artists hosted by SAAG who graciously agree to share their art and experience in a variety of mediums that we might not otherwise engage in. Often these visiting artists volunteer their time and skills while often supplying materials at their own cost to provide a hands-on experience for our members without financial reimbursement.
After reviewing your responses to the survey issued last fall, we all need to rethink how SAAG as a Guild can help and promote our members as artists. 22 people indicated that exhibits and shows provide the most value for membership. 19 people indicated that they liked the presentations and the networking. 17 people noted that they would like to be more involved in decision making for the organization, which – given that the current Board members are unable to continue in their positions – is encouraging. So far, however, no one that we have approached has agreed to take on the task of Board leadership. To support our SAAG member artists and work towards the continuation of SAAG as a guild, BRMAA and their Board of Directors have agreed to allow SAAG to continue - waiving the requirement for a Guild Board structure for a year - allowing time for the SAAG members to recover from Covid-19 and rebuild and grow SAAG within their mission. This is a critical time for SAAG as an organization to continue beyond 2022.
Sadly, again due to Covid-19, the current Board is cancelling this year’s Christmas party. Instead, we are planning a Show and Tell event on February 5th, 2022 with food, soft drinks and a raffle with great prizes. Gathering will be held at the Art Center from 11:00am to 2:00pm and we can share, not only our art with one another, but also ideas on how we can continue to support each other – and SAAG – while things hopefully begin to return to normal. SAAG has always been about artists growing and supporting other artists in our Southern Appalachian area. We, the SAAG Board of Directors, wish all of you Happy Holidays and we look forward to seeing you next year.
Luce Van Asten, President, Southern Appalachian Artists Guild
Southern Appalachian Artist Guild operates as a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization under the umbrella of the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association