Why belong to an organization like American Society of Marine Artists? We ask ourselves this when we first join, then again each year when we pay our dues, and even more so when we begin contributing our time and money to support the work of the organization. It’s healthy to ask the question, and important to remember that the strength of the Society is the people that it brings together. Together, we more effectively show the world what we do. Together, we can learn and find new ways to improve our work. And together, we can inspire each other and support other, even through trying times.
Here we are in the midst of a global pandemic, with nearly everyone either isolated at home or just emerging from isolation, museums and galleries have been shuttered and events are cancelled. Some artists are appreciating the sudden abundance of time to create, others are worrying about how to sell their work, and many are struggling with the isolating and uncertain times.
We are also seeing our nation face the ugly racism that has been with us from our very beginning. It’s a good time to consider that we are stronger when we listen to one another, and understand that not everybody enjoys the same American experience. I’ve always been proud that ASMA is unique in including diverse media and styles within the art we represent, but I believe we also need to represent more racially diverse artistic voices.
I’m grateful to belong to a Society that supports and connects and grows. I’m grateful for the amazing friends and colleagues I saw at our National Marine Art Conference in March, for the reopening of our magnificent 18th National Exhibition at Jamestown Settlement, and for the beautiful News & Journal you’re reading now.
Thank you for being a part of our Society and all that makes it great, and let’s make it even better.