Caroline Henry Art Blog
A comment by Zanderlassen on my last blog got me thinking about the different types of communities in the art world. Ours is essentially a lone if not lonely activity in the creative process, but in a sense it is not complete until it goes into the world.
We, too, being social animals, have a need to go out in the world to feel complete. It is this as much as a desire to promote and improve our art that brings us to groups where we interact with other artists.
I've mentioned in other blogs my activities with the Lodi Community Art Center. Similar groups are scattered among communities everywhere. The LCAC was formed over 50 years ago by a group of local artists who got together to encourage one another and to promote art in the community. By the 1960s they were operating a gallery and putting on an annual open show that received entries from California and other Western States. In the early 1970's they received their current standing as a nonprofit educational corporation with purposes including providing art education and appreciation opportunities to the community as a whole, offering scholarships and other encouragements to the area students, and helping artists to develop
Shown above is the section of the gallery which is devoted to student work provided by classes from the high schools within the community. Notice that younger students are drawn to this exhibit and may elect to take art class in high school because they envision themselves creating and showing such work.
This gallery is entirely staffed by volunteers, most of whom are local artists. The full gallery is about 900 sq ft, and most of its wall space is member art. We encourage beginners to show as ell as our experienced members who produce high-quality professional work. Because we have an art friendly landlord we were able to afford enough space to have a classroom/studio on the premises which is equally large. Community activities include organizational support to First Friday Art Hops where ten venues show art and have receptions monthly, a free lecture demo by an outstanding artist at the public library each month, and one on one art education as staffing members interact with gallery visitors.
I belong to this group because I enjoy the interaction with other artists, because it supports kids' activities, and because it seeks to build art connections in the community as a whole. Next blog I will talk about some other ways that artists affiliate and the purposes they fill.