Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Convention 2016: A Recap

We heard again and again from attendees that Convention 2016 was an inspiring time.  That was the goal after all:  Be Inspired & Inspire Others.

Demo artists were carefully selected if and only if they met a rigorous set of criteria that of course included being profoundly inspirational.  Sarah Kitagawa had us seeing in circles...and we mean that in a most complimentary way!  Just remember not to blow it dry or you'll have dessert (inside joke).  Sarah's fun approach is an adventure much like her paintings.  Many floated along in Annie Lockhart's demo enjoying the peaceful yet energizing experience of going outside of the box as they learned from a master intuitive painter.  It is intuitive, so it is about you, the artist, and your own intuition in  the creation process.  Shirley Moore Leago drew us into her fine details sharing her techniques that make her paintings so realistic.  And it is not just about the animals; everything in the scene gets Shirley's special touch and attention.  Carolyn Hancock brought a live model making her demo interesting to observe her process.  It all comes down to good drawing & the time invested there as well as finding that special something about each person.  M. Allison Sacra completed 2 paintings--- a new record for a demo!  Her airy big sky landscapes drew you in to another place and kept you there to dream.  The new camera set up made seeing artists at work much easier over the hassles of mirrors.

Charles Wallis' presentation on turning your art into your business has already impacted many.  A focus on the different elements we have to determine for ourselves and how to best evaluate things along with some practical marketing advice combined for an entertaining and informative evening.  His own artwork and story inspired us all.  Kari Schmidt, of Cornerstone Framing & Design, sponsored the lunchtime talk & had a gallery of examples she explained.  She continued with the finer details of her process & a Q & A session.  She gave away prints and coupons and also offers demos to leagues.  This year, most demo artists and both presenters had take-home handouts to help attendees bring home what they learned to their own easels.  Additionally, all demo artists, presenters, and judges were featured artists in the Grand Hall Gallery open all day on Saturday.  This enabled conventioneers to speak to them one on one, see their artwork, and learn of their upcoming events & offerings.

The luncheon was attended by nearly 200 guests & included a rousing league roll call, remembering those members who had passed away, door prizes, the election, and more.  Elected officers for the 2016-2017 year are Polly Ward, NWAL, President; Patricia Blaikie, LAL, 1st Vice President; Michelle Bauer, ASW, 3rd Vice President; George Blaikie, LAL, Treasurer; and Golda Rader, CAL, Secretary.  The offices of 2nd Vice President and Auditor remain open and will be filled by the incoming administration.  The program was back and bigger than ever.  It featured the cover artwork "Peaceful Day" by Carol Scheferman.  

Host leagues who assisted the LSAG Board were Coldspring Area Art League, Lake Houston Area Artists, Livingston Art League, & Lufkin Art Guild.  Lufkin members greeted attendees and show participants with registration packets ready and also assisted members in the artwork prep area & in running art to the showroom.  Lake Houston members also assisted in the artwork prep & art running responsibilities as well as being assistants to the demo artists in setting up and take down.  They also submitted suggestions for demo artists from which we chose 2 after a rigorous process.  Coldspring filled the dining room with hydrangea bouquets situated on handmade artists' palettes.  Each arrangement also included an original mini artwork by a CAAL member.  They were also in charge of the menu.  Working Friday and Saturday to make sure the ballroom was transformed into a giant art gallery was Livingston.  They managed set up of panels to hanging of works and staffed the show with judging assistants, ribbon hangers, and more.  For the first time in a long  time, volunteers made it to the luncheon which was one of our goals this year.  Board members helped in each area or were over specific things.  Pat Blaikie:  Door Prizes & Assistant to the Luncheon Staff; Julia Koutroulis:  Show; Golda Rader:  Coordinator of Art Prep Area Staff; George Blaikie:  Accounting; Michelle Bauer:  Assistant to the Registration Team & Security along with Michelle Robinson; Suzanne Seiler & Kari Schmidt:  Photographers; Vickie Nash:  Coordinator of Hospitality for Demo Artists & Assistant to Demo Team Staff, and Alice Van Farowe:  Program, Awards, and Judge & Demo Coordinator. 

Also featured at the luncheon was a time of new recognition for members in 5 categories and for leagues in 2 categories.  Additionally, many more were recognized for their participation over the past year from volunteers at shows to leadership of leagues.  Please see the listing following this one for names of individuals and leagues and their corresponding awards.

Over 600 pieces of artwork were featured at the juried show, and the judges awarded many ribbons. Charles Wallis judged oils, abstracts, and fine art crafts.  Cheng Lian judged watercolor, pastels, and mixed media.  Vie Dunn-Harr judged drawing, photography, digital art, and sculpture.  The judges were also selected as being experts and well established, active professional artists.  To avoid any bias, none of them judged any LSAG show this past year. Vie Dunn-Harr came from San Antonio for the event.  In honor of our 55th year, a surprise was in order, and we increased our Best of awards to that special number of 5.  Our 3 judges each chose a Best of award (see below).  They worked together on Best of Show Adult and Best of Show Student.  Prize money was awarded to all 5 of the Best of award winners.  LSAG congratulates these special award recipients, ribbon winners, and all participants for earning their way to the juried show.  

Best of Show Adult:  Wendy Layne, "Teacher" 

Best of Show Student:  Christy Lovelady, "Emma"  

Best of Show Floral:  Lynda Jung, "Thistle"  (Selected by Vie Dunn-Harr)  

Best of Show Portrait:  Juan Cantavella, "Anna"  (Selected by Cheng Lian)  

Best of Show Landscape:  Robert 'Bob' Gardner, "Afternoon In Trinidad"  (Selected by Charles Wallis) 

Thanks to all who helped make this a successful convention; to all of the artists who participated for an outstanding show; to our judges, demo artists, and presenters who truly gave substance to our theme and inspired us so that we may do the same.