From Your President’s Desk…………….

Sharon Gates

It’s a new year, winter is holding on even as daffodils pop up and buds of forsythia swell.  Hope you all are staying warm and safe today.  I’ve got my hot cup of cocoa in hand and my favorite slippers on as I sit down to have a chat with you about our wonderful little art association.

WHY BIRMINGHAM ART ASSOCIATION???   Do you know just how special the Birmingham Art Association is?  Do you know how special it is for YOU to be a part of this organization and how thrilling it is to have you all as members?  Before I joined BAA and got to know and understand this group, I thought BAA was “the downtown” art association.  Not true.  Then  I was invited to  do a demonstration at a meeting one night where I met some members.  I felt WELCOMED.  I learned that BAA is a Birmingham METROPOLITAN association, open to all in the metropolitan area.  BAA needed volunteers at the time, so I became a part of the group to help out.  I learned of the history and legacy of the Birmingham Art Association.  I sensed an energy pulsating just under the surface of this venerable, old organization begging to be brought into the 21st century.  There were energetic young people sitting on its Board of Directors full of ideas and creativity.  Everything was in place for a new growth and revitalization when I was finally elected as your president.

WHAT’S DIFFERENT NOW?  A LOT!!!!!  So here we are in another year.  We’ve listened to your ideas, your wants and wishes, and the direction you have wanted us to go.  Membership has flourished from a mere 36 paid members last April (yep, that’s all folks) when the new board took office.  In less than a year’s time we have over 80 members today.  We  are a small, intimate group of artists all growing together, learning together, and having fun together.  And we are adding NEW MEMBERS WEEKLY!  We are ALL excited to be a part of bringing vitality back into the great Birmingham Art Association!!!!

THANK YOU!   I want to say a special thank you to current members who have hung in with us during our growing pains.  Thank you, also, to former members who, upon taking a second look at where BAA has been and where we are going, decided to offer your support by rejoining us.  Thank you thank you thank you!

And just where are we going this year? 

  • WE HAVE A HOME FOR YOU!!!  BAA continues to accept the work of ALL VISUAL ARTISTS who create works of “high artistic and cultural standards”, as noted in our Articles of Incorporation drafted in 1908.
  • The Birmingham Art Association WILL offer its members opportunities to show work EVERY MONTH in high-traffic venues, not just a few times a year, and just for the price of your membership.  We did not take any commissions last year and, with the support of renewing members and former members, will not have to this year.
  • Due to the efforts of BAA in working with the City of Birmingham, ALL artists, not just BAA, at the Pepper Place Saturday Market will not be required to  hold a business license when selling art there on Saturday mornings.  This is of MAJOR importance, dear members, and saves the artists huge business license fees required within the City of Birmingham!
  • Art Walk Business License – BAA purchased the City’s required $200 business license in order for our members to sell at our space at Art Walk once again this year.
  • BAA has offered its members TWO valuable workshops already this year with more to come, offering opportunities to hone our skills, improve our marketing, etc.
  • BAA will once again partner with the Birmingham Museum of Art, carrying on a long tradition of mutual support, to bring ART ON STAGE to the community.  Art on Stage will be a featured event during the Museum’s very popular First Thursday  on June 4, more information to come.
  • BAA now has updated, relevant By-Laws that will guide us for years to come, thanks to the efforts of your current Board of Directors.
  • Philanthropic Support of the Arts will continue to be addressed as it was last year as we continue to honor our commitments and maintain our non-profit status.
  • TAX DEDUCTIBLE DUES!!  Maintaining our non-profit status affords this for our members.
  • Free Gallery Space is still offered on the BAA Website, showing up to 8 works and a bio for our members. Email us with 8 jpegs of your work and a brief bio to:  bhamartassociation@gmail.com

THERE’S STILL MORE TO COME!!  B U T………. We need the support of your membership!  We cannot pay our licensing fees, offer scholarships to deserving art students, hold our networking mixers, art shows or any of the above opportunities without your help — and please offer to VOLUNTEER when you see a request.  Thanks to all who have renewed so far.  If you have not done so, please take the time to go to our website’s membership page and click on the PayPal button to RENEW TODAY.  PayPal will give your a printable receipt.  You may also mail your check to Birmingham Art Association, P.O. Box 425, Birmingham, AL, 35201.  Membership is still:  $50 per individual, $70 per family, $25 per enrolled student, and $100 for corporate sponsorship.  Please contact me personally at any time if I may answer questions or concerns by emailing me at bhamartassociation@gmail.com.  I answer all emails.   I want to hear from YOU.

Sharon Gates, President

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