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.

Systemic Racism and Recent Violence – A Statement from the Board

We stand in solidarity with those who demand change in the fight against the systemic racism that has been perpetrated against people of color throughout the history of this nation. We will not remain silent while people of color suffer disproportionately and brutally at the hands of our prejudiced criminal justice system. We too must take responsibility for the part we have played within this system of oppression. Systemic racism, which has permeated every aspect of life for people of color, will not end until the intentional and long-standing inequity in housing, healthcare, education, economic and political power is rectified. The daily violence against people who are black and the resulting widespread protests against this violence has created a palpable sense of urgency in this work.

One year ago, we, as an organization, began to focus on creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization across leadership and membership. We began by participating in a program offered through Nonprofit Enterprise at Work called Champions for Change. The Champions for Change program works to build capacity for racial equity leadership in Washtenaw County. As a result, we are now making fundamental changes to our organization. In this work, we found that our name, Ann Arbor Women Artists, is a barrier not only to diversifying our membership but also in collaboratively working with other nonprofits. We are in the process of changing our name and have rewritten our values to emphasize these goals. 

We are creating proactive policies to engage with local nonprofits and communities to increase diversity within our membership and developing new programs such as a mentorship program to assure we are meeting the needs of all our members in an equitable manner. This is a beginning – we have much to learn and more to do.

We, as a nonprofit, have a responsibility to and are working to assure all members feel welcome, heard, and supported. We have created new opportunities to bring members together to form new friendships, to share perspectives, and to start new collaborations.

We are committed to assuring our values – diversity, equity and inclusion – permeate every aspect of our work. They will be kept at the forefront in our teaching, learning, creating, innovating and collaborating in the fight against systemic racism.

Our Values

Personal honesty, integrity and respect in our work as a board, membership, and community members

Diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership, membership, and community engagement

Passion for teaching, learning, creativity, innovation, and sharing

Collaborative community approach connecting members and collaborating