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Friday, August 04, 2006

Palm Arboretum

Palm Arboretum St Petersburg Florida
8x10 inches
oil on panel

Painter's Tip

Art organizations

It's easy to get involved in lots of art organizations. Before you know it, you are spending more time clubbing than painting. I resign from organizations that don't live up to my expectations after a year or two and I am more judicious now about joining them in the first place. Considering the dues that we must pay to become members, it is wise to be sure you are getting real value.

It is important that you think about what you will be getting out of a club or art organization. How much time must you commit to committees, meetings? Can you be a member without attending meetings? I often belong to groups as a show of support without attending because I want to support local groups.

I stay away from most of the national art organizations because I feel they have little to offer me other than the bragging factor. I suspect that many of them offer memberships in order to support the few superstars and big named painters they have on their roster. Most of the members get no recognition or opportunities because the jurying process is all but impossible to overcome for the emerging painter. For national art clubs I join only by invitation.

Instead, I like regional and local art clubs because they offer exhibition opportunities, workshops, and information that are easy for me to get to and use. I have more in common with regional artists than someone who may be 2,000 miles away in a different culture altogether.

I also stick with groups who have commonalities with my genre of painting. The networking can be useful between landscape, portrait, and other sub groups whereever they may live.

I use a criteria list before selecting groups. Your criteria may be very different from mine. Think about what you have to offer the group in time or expertise and what exactly you need from the group you are considering. Ask questions of members and attend a couple of meetings before you make the committment of your valuable time.