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I write this note listening to the news from Connecticut. Our hearts go out to the community, parents, families and loved ones in Newtown. Our thoughts are on Sandy Hook Elementary School, a truly incomprehensible event that induces deep feelings of sadness.
I hope this finds our NCECA membership preparing for a festive holiday season, complete with successful sales receipts from your holiday events and the celebration of new acquisitions for you collectors out there. May the New Year hold an itinerary of exciting opportunities to exhibit, create, converse, immerse or participate in all of the exchanges that stimulate your passion and creativity.
I subscribe to a weekly periodical that is a compilation of current events and news from a variety of sources; it keeps me informed without having to sift through a lot of repetitive content. There is a section of this periodical titled, "Boring but important" and I always roll my eyes and drudge through the section. Its content covers the logistics behind policy and governance that have a direct impact on us nationally. I'm always glad I consume the material and wish there was a better way to put some sugar on the kale that I'm ingesting. This not always pleasant but important task brings us to our need to amend the NCECA Bylaws in the New Year.
NCECA Board members, non-board advisors and recent Board candidates have concluded that some of our Bylaws including aspects of the amendments passed in 2010 have resulted in unforeseen consequences that compromise the organization's sustainability, performance and development. Language and content for proposed Bylaws changes are being refined. In this process, NCECA is seeking the feedback of concerned members familiar with NCECA's governance process and policies as a result of their prior knowledge and experience with NCECA's Board and/or nonprofit governance at large. We're proposing changes that will help bring us into the digital age by ratifying the utilization of electronic voting. Other vital changes are being designed to help us encourage, identify and mentor qualified board members for positions that require specialized knowledge while also permitting NCECA's Board to engage small groups of people who are uniquely skilled to serve the organization in other meaningful capacities. Our proposed amendments are important refinements that need to happen. Expect to see those specific amendments and our reasoning behind them posted on the NCECA website by January 23rd.
I invite any of you that would like to assist us with refinement of the language and content to share your perspectives and feedback in the coming weeks by contacting me. In some ways, this task will be like helping us to shovel snow from the driveway to get to the house. All changes in voting procedures require a vote of the membership and a well-informed group tends to make the best decisions. So… keep your eyes out for more communication on Bylaws amendments in January and thank you for eating your kale, with or without the sugar.
We've got some big things in the works in the next year that include projects for our 50th anniversary celebration, a brand new conference app, continued website development AND all the other things NCECA does to reward, acknowledge and support artists while creating opportunities and elevating the field. As we approach December 31st please keep us in mind as you weigh your year end, tax-deductible contributions. Your volunteer board, made up of artists and educators bound by their love and service to the organization is a microcosm of our membership. This group is well on its way to exceeding last year's remarkable achievement of total board giving. This year we are well on track to realize 100% board donor participation and strive to double last year's bottom line. We have made the pledge of support to the organization and we hope you will too. Please visit www.nceca.net and hit the Donate to NCECA link to make your year-end gift now.
My very best wishes to you as we tumble into the holiday with all my hopes that you achieve everything your hearts desire in the New Year.
NCECA's greatest hope is to make an impact on your creative interests, professional practice and passion for learning. If you are able to consider year-end contributions, we hope you will keep NCECA at or near the top of your list. Over the past two decades, NCECA friend and member, Mark Leuthold, has made resonant energy within natural systems a central theme of his complex biomorphic sculptures. His message below recently came to NCECA along with a generous donation.
As the 2013 conference in Houston, Texas draws nearer we would like to share more insider tips to help you plan your visit in March. In addition to the conference programming and exhibitions you will want to explore our outsider art destinations, fascinating cultural attractions and visionary initiatives including these unique gems:
The Orange Show Monument created by Jeff McKissack, a Houston mail carrier, in honor of his favorite fruit. Built from 1956 to 1980, the monument transformed his home into a maze of walkways, balconies, arenas and exhibits decorated with mosaics and brightly painted iron figures. www.orangeshow.org
The Beer Can House began its transformation into its current state in 1968 when John Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer for the Southern Pacific Railroad, began inlaying thousands of marbles, rocks, and metal pieces into concrete and redwood to form unique landscaping features. When the entire front and back yard were completely covered because he "got sick of mowing the grass", he turned to the house itself and began adding aluminum siding – aluminum beer can siding, that is. http://www.beercanhouse.org/
Project Row Houses (PRH) a visionary nonprofit art and cultural organization in Houston's Northern Third Ward, one of the city's oldest African-American communities, where twenty-two shotgun-style houses became the opportunity to pursue the creation of a new form of art. Ten of the row houses are dedicated to art, photography and literary projects, which are installed on a rotating six-month basis. When a group of artists is commissioned, each is given a house to transform in ways that speak to the history and cultural issues relevant to the African-American community. http://projectrowhouses.org/
The Art Car Museum is a private institution dedicated to contemporary art with an emphasis on art cars, other fine arts, and artists who are rarely, if ever, acknowledged by other cultural institutions. The museum, also known as Garage Mahal, features imaginative, elaborate, and artfully constructed art cars, low riders, and mobile contraptions, as well as art exhibitions by local, regional, and national artists. http://www.artcarmuseum.com/
Looking forward to seeing you all in Houston. As you plan your visit remember to come early and stay late!
Jeff Forster and Merrie Wright
No Need for Cowboy Boots or Spurs! NCECA'S 2013 Collectors' Tour led by Marge Levy is a behind the scenes exploration of art in and around Houston. This unique experience for lovers of art and clay, pots and food, conversation and inspiration has limited participation so we can go places together - private collections, unique museums, regional showcases, fabulous exhibitions, off-site museum storage, artist studios, and fine dining. We have built in time for up-close conversations with artists and professionals; meals with new talent and emerging artists; quiet time with museum curators, regional artists, and professional advisors and scholars.
You will get to see the best national pottery and sculpture shows first thing. We will allow time for you to attend NCECA programs about collecting, museum donations, curatorial practice, and of course, NCECA Expositions and Demo programs…and free time. And our meals will vary from quick box lunches on the run to fabulous gourmet experiences… time for shopping and collecting too! "Be nice: hats ok, leave your spurs home."
A $1500 tour fee includes Collector Program expenses, NCECA conference fee, NCECA catalogs and publications, and a $250 donation to NCECA. Hotel accommodations and travel are not included.
NCECA's bag insert promotion offers a cost effective way to reach every registrant of the 2013 conference in Houston with information about your exhibitions, programs and services. The regular fee for this service is $600. NCECA is offering a 50% member discount ($300/ insert) on this service for all paid agreements received before January 30, 2013. Following this date, a 20% discount will be available to NCECA members. All insertion samples, orders and payments must be received by March 8, 2013. Non-members pay full fee after January 30. Promotional pieces may include flyers, postcards, CDs, small catalogs (up to 16 pages and no larger than 8-1/2" x 11"), samples weighing no more than 3 ounces. Proposed materials are subject to approval by NCECA. Download the 2013 conference packet Insert order form. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
NCECA's office will be closed and staff will be on holiday on Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1. We extend best wishes for a productive holiday sales, end of term efforts and extend our hope for safe, peaceful and happy end to academic terms and the year 2012.
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