It takes two to tango!

Artists! Our new Huron River Art Collective website is at this very moment under construction! But, without you, it’s nothing (sheds tear).

But seriously, we do need pictures of you all doing all the cool stuff you do, so please send us some. Had a laugh at a Fall mixer or Holiday party in the past two or three years? Snapped a fellow artist working on a plein air? Did you take a pic of visitors at your Open Studio? Did a student immortalize you teaching an art class? Has a spouse or offspring captured you in a moment of creation? How about at a show Opening, or your Art Fair booth? Screenshot of Zoom Book Group (cheers!)? Don’t let those pixels just loiter aimlessly in the Cloud!

One reason for the new website is to attract new members, and to make our organization more open and diverse in every way. So if you feel like there aren’t yet very many members like you – then all the more reason to send us your photos.

Sophie Grillet’s Open Studio 2019

Bearing in mind that not every photographic record is bright, color-balanced and beautifully cropped – do we have a photographer out there who will step up and do a few basic edits to make them website-ready? Reward is huge appreciation and air kisses from the Board member of your choice (disclaimer blah, blah).

Studio Visitors during Westside Art Hop – They were asked if it was ok to share this photo.

Click HERE to view photo upload form, and upload your pictures. Please note, you will need to give permission for the use of the photos, including checking with anyone in them that they’re ok with Huron River Art Collective using their image.

Thank you!

— Sophie Grillet, Communications Chair

Solstice soon: Approaching A Turning Point

You know how it is when you try to move a large rug while you’re still standing on it? You know it would work much better rearranged, but doing it is really awkward! That’s kind of how it is moving to Huron River Art Collective from Ann Arbor Women Artists. 

Everything has to change, and everything has to have some continuity. We don’t want to lose any of the practical things which serve our membership, and we don’t want to ditch historical records or scrap our artists’ past achievements, but we do want the new website to function as perfectly as possible as soon as possible, and we do want to be poised to grow into the new character of the Collective.

We are delighted to have found a small but experienced professional company to help us with the changeover. And, we are extremely grateful to Dee Overly and Mary Murphy for the Herculean amount of work they have both put in to keep our website running up until now. We’re finally allowing them to retire from the volunteer job! 

Jellies by Mary Murphy

We always welcome thoughts and ideas from our artists – if you’d like to write some notes about what it’s been like being an artist in 2020, or share what your hopes are for the future, let us know! What has inspired you? What are you determined to change? We’d like to build blog posts around your interests, concerns, plans and dreams.

And as ever, don’t forget to keep in touch through our social events as well as sharing your work on Facebook and Instagram, and having conversations in our members’ only Facebook Group. If you meet any artists who haven’t joined or who don’t know about our new name and more overtly inclusive mission, we want to grow and develop – please invite them to join!

— Got an hour or two? Volunteer opportunities available in many sizes! —

To offer to help, message us through our Facebook page or Group, or email SophieGrillet at gmail.

Our mission is to provide an inclusive and supportive environment for a diverse community of artists to share knowledge and opportunities that promote individual excellence, collaboration, inspire new creative perspectives, and offer engagement with the public to foster participation, appreciation, and support of the arts.

Artist Steve Burdick

Interview: Making art in the time of Coronavirus

What’s it like to be an artist during the Pandemic?
Well the biggest difference so far is that I decided not to participate in any PleinAir events this Summer. It’s too bad, really. Dexter hosts a very nice event in August which I’ve enjoyed being a part of. It’s scaled back this year, and out of an abundance of caution, I opted out. I had a subject and location selected for my painting — a lovely old house near downtown Dexter that has intrigued me for a long time. Deciding not to participate this year was hard. I’ll miss the camaraderie of the other artists and seeing my hometown through their eyes.

How have you responded to the Pandemic?
I got to a point where I wanted to do something worthwhile during all this. I’m a retired graphic designer and I love designing posters. I created a 50-year commemorative poster for a historic local event and sold a number of them with the proceeds going to St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. That was gratifying.

What are you doing differently?
Rather than painting my selected painting subject for the PleinAir event, I decided to do it in my studio. As the painting was underway, I was able to return to the spot to check and quickly sketch details and lighting that my reference photos missed. It wasn’t quite the same as being on location, but it worked. The finished painting is titled “Good Morning Dexter” (Oil on canvas. 18” x 24”).  I sold a giclée print of this after posting it to my site, and it led to a commissioned work which I’m working on now.

What else has changed?
In a way, the adjustment to staying close to home during this pandemic has not been terribly challenging. When I’m painting in the studio I almost become a hermit anyway. My wife and daughter are reliably constructive critics and they keep me honest. With all this time at home, I’ve found opportunities to revisit previous paintings and I’ve attempted ‘makeovers’ with a mixed level of success. (See attached “First Light” and “Eddy 1 & 2”).

I  must admit that I’m enjoying the sanctuary that my studio offers. It’s good for my soul to get away from the daily stream of breaking news.  But, I miss going to exhibits, talking in person with other artists, comparing notes, etc. That was my reason for joining AAWA  earlier this year. When this is over, I don’t think I’ll take that for granted.

If you would like to share your ‘Art making in a time of Coronavirus’ experience with us, please get in touch!

OUR CHANGEOVER to Huron River Art Collective has officially happened. The technicalities can take a little time – but we’re working on it! For now, you may see posts, email and messages under either name. Thank you for your patience! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook (public Page and private Group for Members), and Instagram. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!