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An Art League Story from Our Board President
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An Art League Story from Our Board President

The Art League is the heart and soul of our arts community and your help in keeping the story alive is so needed. Today is a most important day. Please do what you can to keep the creative spirit strong and growing through Spring2ACTion!

The zone. As artists, there’s just about nothing more satisfactory or exhilarating than achieving this blissful state in the studio. We stop using the left side of our brain, or worrying about the quality of the brush stroke, color temperatures, value or if the work is “good enough.” We simply exist in the moment, and the painting seems to paint itself. It takes on a life of its own when all the notes are hit just so. It’s unexpected, elusive, and seductive, and leaves us wanting more. It’s one of those surprises in the development of our artistic selves that we didn’t know we needed until we sampled it.

npf solo gallery
Nancy’s solo artist exhibit in the Gallery, June 2009.

Any member, student or volunteer at The Art League finds life here to be full of similar kinds of “ah-ha” moments and unexpected pleasures. Being part of this community provides the foundation of who we are and who we may become.

A class becomes more than a place for academic and skilled learning from one of our remarkable faculty. Teachers become long time mentors. Fellow students become colleagues, friends, support systems and finally, another kind of family who become a central part of who we are. A rhythm and flow develops in the classroom and lives become intertwined. We learn much from the artist who is next to us or in front of us. Classes take on a life of their own and become essential to the lives of those involved.  It’s the sustenance that we didn’t know we needed until we had it.

And, this support system further expands in the Gallery and among the membership.  Even with competition for selection in an exhibition, there’s genuine pride for a hard working colleague and friend finding success in any given show. Monthly Receiving Days see reconnections of good friends and colleagues, kudos given for works well done. There are scenes of intimate conversations among people who know and respect each other really well; people who have connected because of their activities at The Art League. Membership goes far beyond the tangible benefits of what we get for our membership dollars. What we receive is priceless. It’s ‘the everything else’ that we didn’t know we needed that becomes vital to our professional and personal health and happiness.

When the revelation of how The Art League has impacted our lives becomes clear, many of us choose to become involved as volunteers. It’s a natural way of giving back and fostering growth for us, for those who come after us and for the community at large. Many choose to give back with their time.  Some choose to make a financial contribution or a bequest. Certainly, The Art League needs the value of time, expertise and dollars. But the surprising thing about giving back is much like being in the zone. The joy and satisfaction that we get from giving is unanticipated and greater than we could ever have imagined, and we know when we’ve hit the notes right on key.

 

Nancy Pane Fortwengler
President, Art League Board of Directors

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Simply set The Art League as your chosen charity, and every time you shop at smile.amazon.com, a portion of your purchase will be donated to support our mission to share the experience of visual arts with the community.