Greetings from the West where summer has started off very hot and dry, and I am wishing there was a nice beach somewhere closer than a thousand miles away!
Since my last report, the Fellows had a pleasurable gathering in Mystic, CT the last day of April to complete our annual portfolio review for Signature Membership. We reviewed many submissions and elected 14 new Signature Members for 2018. Congratulations to Poppy Balser, Serena Bates, Luc Bernay, Holly Bird, Laura Cooper, Mark Daly, Nicholas Fox, Paul Garnett, Claiborne Gregory, Micaiah Hardison, Sarah Hull, Brechin Morgan, Guy Morrow, and Nancy Tankersley! We are so pleased for each of you, and the diversity that continues to grow in ASMA!
It is very difficult to put into words, how seriously the Fellows take the responsibility for selecting new Signature Members. Many of us have become close friends with the artists who submit, and we want nothing more than for each of you to succeed. Sometimes an artist can be just one vote shy of making it in, and it is nearly as tough on us as Jurors when we see how hard artists work every year to create their submissions.
Rather than following the same course the Fellowship had done for decades, it was decided to do individual reviews for each applicant that did not succeed this year. We may never know if it was the right decision or not, but it was an honest effort to try and articulate the overall consensus regarding each individual portfolio.
Several members responded positively to me, even though they were disappointed not to have made Signature status, they received some feedback they had not consider when submitting. We have always referred artists to an article written many years ago by Past President and Fellow Emeritus member Peter Egeli, which outlines many of the common mistakes that the Fellows have noted over the years, that artists make time and time again. This article can be found on our ASMA website under the Members section referenced as a resource, and is still a valid tool for all members.
It is worth mentioning that each artist must have their own voice and learn how to make the best use of their special gift. So many times we will see a portfolio with 5 nice images, 5 average works, and one or two pieces that should never have been submitted, but the artist only had 10 or 11 acceptable works to enter. That is the recipe for failure. NEVER send a piece you know is not up to par – not even one! None of us do masterpieces all the time, but it is the kiss of death when a room full of jurors are trying to summarize an artist’s technical capabilities and skill level and all of a sudden a poor image fills the screen. As hard as it is, and as tempted as it may be, wait another year until you are satisfied that each work or art submitted has merit.
Continuity is also important. That doesn’t mean than you cannot be versatile at doing multiple subjects, but if 9 pieces are representational seascapes, and you throw in a floral still life, the neighbor’s cat and an architectural rendering of a Southwestern villa with cactus, that leaves everyone scratching their heads a bit, since we are jurying specifically for marine art. Be mindful to try and stick to what pertains to all things maritime.
At the end of the day, we still have to remember the most important thing about art; if it makes you happy and gives you fulfillment in creating it, you have achieved something others may never experience. We all share a common bond and passion for each other through this amazing organization!
Before closing, there are two other important items need mentioning – Charleston is coming up just around the corner!! We are gearing up for a lot of fun in November, for sure. Be sure to get your rooms reserved ASAP. Information is provided again in this copy of the News and Journal. Principle Gallery has really stepped out to make our Marine Art Invitational Show a great experience for our 40th Anniversary, so please submit 3 of your very best works as soon as possible! The deadline is July 30th, 2018.
Secondly, we have an important By-Law change that needs to be approved by our members. You can register your Assignment of Proxy online at the ASMA website under Events, or mail in the Proxy form included in this issue of the News and Journal. We have 3 Board Members whose terms are up for re-election, and two new Board of Director candidates who are willing to help the Society achieve even greater things in the future. Please review all of the articles in this issue! See you all in the fall in Charleston!