Saying Goodbye to Art Group

Here is close to twenty years of notes taken on members of the Art Group. I would write down what they were showing and what they were saying. Amazing journeys that we all took over time. Most left for obvious reasons, loss of interest, loss of commitment to their ideas, and loss of life, to name a few.

Yesterday we, the final four, quietly just faded into dissolution. I will miss the meetings, deciding what to make for dinner, where to find something to make a centerpiece on the table, what wine to have on hand, whether I should put on earrings, laying my own work out for input, setting the table in the dining room and placing wine glasses and nibbles on the cloth pictured at the bottom of the stack of books that covered the board shear.

I will use that cloth to wrap the books for burial.

How it began.

After my time earning a MFA in the summer of 1999 I soon missed the solid critiques. I wanted input on what I was making and I wanted to see what mattered to others. At first because of the craft making area where I live it was somewhat more about “how” things were done and not so much about “why”. These were the guidelines for starting the group.

  1. An ability to articulate your ideas.
  2. A commitment to produce work based on those ideas.
  3. An ability to analyze and offer critique on members’work.
  4. A commitment to participate on a regular basis, usually monthly for a full day.

We did that.

This morning I went through the books to see who all had left and when the three other survivors joined the group. Such memories, such passion. A small nod of appreciation to all those who ventured into and out of Art Group: Barbara, Dee Dee, Liz, Barbara, Sharon, Tony, Nikki, Anna, Diane, Tina, Ted, Chloe, Melody, Lynda, Duncan, Steve, Colleen, Dick and others that I missed. Thank you being there to talk “art” with.

This was a hard commitment for some to make and for others to continue.

I received this note from an artist friend in the UK several years ago and found it tucked into the books to share with Art Group.

….so off to get a grip on these unruly hounds of accumulated knowledge, ideas, “dreams” and drive them, in an ordered way, to a resolution in a collection of satisfying work.

We worked hard to do exactly that and some of us are still at it.

Til later.