Readers probably won't remember the super nice certificates artists received after the Inaugural Gallery exhibit ended prematurely (thanks to Covid) in 2020. But no matter, now that our Second Exhibit is history, the County of Cass in Michigan has again stepped up to send out these lovely tokens of appreciation to participating artists. We think the Gallery is probably the only one to ever thank its artists so concretely!
Printed on stiff parchment paper, aren't these acknowledgements, complete with beveled gold seal of the county, such a thoughtful way to express appreciation?
To make things even better, a letter accompanied the certificates. I know for a fact that the exhibit "brought much pleasure to employees and visitors alike as they walked through the halls of the County Services Building" because those people whom I encountered on my own strolls through the hallways told me so. We had a some sales, too--one for yours truly, purchased not by anyone I know personally, a friend or relative, but someone who came to the County Building on business.
My letter came with a surprise thank-you from the County Administrator. I am sometimes told that my work is "amazing", but I can't ever recall being told that I, personally, am amazing. Wow! I'll let you read it for yourself!
The Second Regional Exhibit at the Cass County Regional Gallery had a nice run, and it was colorful too--take a quick glance above at just a few of the art works that are featured for the final week of the exhibit, ending on October 30. If you are in the Michiana area and find yourself with some unexpected free time before then, take advantage of it and stop in to see a wide variety of work, all by local artists. There was a Facebook meme going around recently that said "THE WORK OF LOCAL ARTISTS IS NOT SITTING ON CARGO SHIPS". And we know exactly where it IS sitting until next Saturday!
The second regional art exhibit titled "Emergence" is showing now at the Cass County (MI) Administration Building, that bit of modern architecture just to the left of the magnificent Old Courthouse in Cassopolis. We had a lovely reception for the artists a couple of Saturdays ago, and a local Cassopolis artist in the exhibit has had a sale!
The gallery hours are the same as the County Building business hours, 8AM-5PM Monday through Friday. If you're in the area feel free to browse the show any time during those hours. Art will be on display until October 30.
After you tour the exhibit, take a short stroll south on Broadway to the brand new beachfront amenities on Stone Lake. Stop in The Twirl and get some ice cream and enjoy it on the new pier!
County Building: 120 North Broadway, Cassopolis, MI
The Twirl: 220 South Broadway, Cassopolis, MI
Left photo by rossograph via https://commons.wikimedia.org
Right photo courtesy Cassopolis Main Street Committee
It looks like the weather gods are going to give us a perfect day to deliver art for the "Emergence" exhibit at Cass County Regional Gallery in Cassopolis, Michigan. So far they are promising sunny skies and moderate temperatures throughout the day.
We managed to persuade four of our five scholarship recipients to share a photo of themselves with their award certificates. Our winners hail from Dowagiac, Eau Clair, Niles, and Watervliet. It was so rewarding to be able to give these young artists a boost towards their art goals, whether it be in the form of art classes or art materials.
Cass Area Artists will endeavor to continue this program next year, so look for the application form on this website in 2022. Congratulations to our winners, and if we can manage to round up winner #5 we'll put that photo up for you too.
First off, the deadline is closing in for student scholarship applications. We've had several come in already, so if your child is interested in having some extra cash this summer to spend on classes or art supplies now is the time to get your entry in before the May 31 deadline.
Now for the real excitement! With the current ongoing decline of the Covid pandemic we are optimistic enough to tentatively schedule the second Open Exhibit at the Cass County Regional Gallery in Cassopolis, Michigan. This one we are calling, optimistically, "Emergence". Because that's exactly what it will feel like to fill the walls at the County Building once again with art from regional artists in Southwest Michigan. This totally free event for artists and their friends and families is unlike anything else in the area. No entry fee, no commission on sales, no jury fee, and a celebration reception is included! As a bonus, the dates we're looking at--August through October--mean that our summer residents will still be in the area to visit the gallery and appreciate the art. And even purchase some art!
Links to exhibit rules and entry forms are now posted on the home page and the "forms" page. Dates are tentative at this point, but as mentioned above WE ARE OPTIMISTIC!!!
Cass Area Artists has already received scholarship applications from hopeful students, so we thought a reminder would be in order to encourage students from grades 1-12 to enter now. The deadline to receive entries is getting closer, May 15 for emailed entries and for the postmark on USPS-mailed entries. There's still time to get your entry in, so keep in mind the entry deadline so you don't miss out! Winners will be notified by June 15. Downloadable applications and information available here: FORMS
We're happy to announce that we are once again offering youth scholarships for Michiana students grades 1 through 12 to enable them to further their interest in art by either taking classes or purchasing art materials of their choice.
You will find links to downloadable .pdf files on the home page and on the "forms" page. All applications must be postmarked by May 31, 2021 or emailed by that date. Winners will be notified by June 15, 2021.
Here's one of our happy winners from 2020. We love that smile!
So how often does an artist get official concrete recognition from an exhibit venue? How about, almost never? Every artist who participated in the inaugural exhibit at the Cass County Regional Gallery this year got a certificate from the County Administrator in appreciation of their participation in this event. This came as a most lovely surprise and Cass Area Artists also would like to emphasize how much each artist's participation contributed to the overarching purpose of the exhibit, which was to introduce area artists to the community, offer an opportunity for artists to meet one another, discuss their work, sell their work, and confirm their status as creatives worthy of public acclaim.
We all know how "Rona" has disrupted our lives this year, and it showed up at a most inconvenient time for the Regional Gallery, which had to cut short its 3-month exhibit by half. However, Cass Area Artists is in the preliminary planning stages to do a repeat ("Rona" willing) in 2021. We would like to stress that all Michiana area artists are welcome to participate, and if you were in the first exhibit there is no rule prohibiting you from participating in the second! We will be posting further developments as soon as they happen, but for now let's just say that we're looking at mid-April for our second go-round. Stay tuned--stay safe!
A "paint and sip" party. An unexpected opportunity. A pushy friend. What more could you need (well, maybe determination) to turn your personal art "therapy" into a roaring success? Meet Brenda Cline.
Brenda Cline and Jackie Taylor went to school together from 7th grade on. They were friends throughout their school years. Although they saw each other only a few times since graduation 43 years ago they kept up their friendship on Facebook.
Brenda never thought about painting until she went to a wine and canvas party at her girlfriend Lori's house in the fall of 2017. She ended up teaching herself to paint and then posted paintings every week that she did for her family and friends. Jackie told her how talented she was. When the Cass County Regional Gallery exhibit (managed by volunteers from Cass Area Artists) was being advertised Jackie gently pushed Brenda to bring in a painting for the show. When the gentle pushing didn’t work Jackie did some heavy duty pushing! Brenda was concerned that her work might not be good enough and that the only reason family and friends said that it was good work was because they loved her. How many of us have harbored those very same thoughts about our work?
Jackie finally convinced Brenda to bring a couple of paintings to her office and she would pick one for her to submit for the art exhibit. She brought in 5 or 6 paintings and Jackie asked some of her coworkers to come and take a peek. The coworkers “jury” was thrilled with her paintings!!! The one that Brenda picked to submit was the first one in the exhibit that sold!!!!
Since that time Brenda has gotten more confident and Jackie is still pushing her to take her new “business” seriously. She suggested making business cards, creating a name and logo for her business, and signs. Brenda did all that!! She has been to several shows now at farmers markets, has gotten special requests from friends, family and strangers alike, and her confidence is booming. Jackie also encouraged her to work on a website and now she is doing that. She is beyond excited at the turn her life has taken with painting.
Brenda and Jackie agree that it was God’s timing that brought them back together. Jackie saw the talent Brenda had and also understood her insecurity of stepping out of her comfort zone because Jackie had been insecure like that her whole life. Just goes to prove that even at 59 years old you are never too old to help a friend realize their potential and that friend is never too old to start a new career!!
While this article was being prepared, Jackie asked Brenda how sales had been going. In the time since the gallery exhibit closed prematurely last spring (due to Covid), Brenda has sold 52 paintings!!!! And at a farmers market this summer she had a little boy who wanted to buy one of her paintings but he didn't have enough money so he said he was going to find some odd jobs to do and he would be back at some point to buy a painting. That was special! We'll be waiting to see more of her work when her website is completed.