Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A night with the EGA

As some of you know, among the various groups I'm with and the work that I do that I am a member of the Elk Grove Artists Group. A relatively new member, I already knew a small handful of the artists from my work at Blue Moon Gallery and when I was vending at the Sacramento ArtsFestivals. Admittedly I hadn't been able to attend the last 2 months' meetings or so due to trying to get work done for deadlines which ended up falling on the weeks the meetings were scheduled but I was determined to get back to attending and I'm glad that I did.

For those who missed my entry A New Beginning – Looks Promising that I had posted way back in March, heard of the EGA but don't know anything else, or have never heard of them let me go ahead and give you an overview. The EGA (originally the Elk Grove Artists Society) is a non-profit organization within the Elk Grove, California area made up of established, up-and-coming local artists and art supporters who try to bring awareness to the arts by helping with or creating local events along with providing workshops to assist in improving members' art. For the longest time I had kept just hearing of the group from fellow artists who would suggest that I become a member. This year I had finally decided to join and found that the group was very welcoming and supportive.

During last night's meeting, we touched on as a reminder that the 5km WALK/RUN for the Arts is this Saturday starting at 8:30am. Our Vice President, Judy Knott, will be participating in this fundraiser which the proceeds will be to the EGA to help us continue with our various supporting events. If you're interested in pledging support, please contact Judy at knottmorris@hotmail.com or by phone at (916) 539-1716 for further information. Since the race is August 25th, you need to hurry.

Another thing that came up was that we were doing a raffle ($1 per ticket which isn't that much) with the prize being able to hang or display a piece of original art for one month at the Elk Grove Fine ArtsCenter. On a whim I figured why not and bought 3 tickets. As our President, Deb Brown, handed the basket of tickets to our guest speaker for the night to pick the winning ticket, I looked at my tiny line up figuring that someone else would get the prize. The next thing I hear is the young man reading off “77-27-90” and I thought I could feel my heart stop for a brief moment as I stared at the ticket line up in front of me on the table. Right there was 772788, 772789, and 772790 just staring at me. Not sure how fast my hand went up but my friend Kanika Marshall who was sitting right next to me ended up cheering and giving me a hug for winning.

Our guest speaker, photographer Michael Smith, was rather informative during his hour lecture as he explained how best to go about taking the perfect landscape photos. Since most of the attending members for the evening were older and perhaps not as tech savvy as the someone from a younger generation, he was able to explain things in such a way that made sense and wasn't filled with techno-babble. The fact that he took into consideration that many of the members that night were painters or travel a lot so used more art terms and real world examples seemed to help many since nearly everyone there was taking notes and nodding when they understood what he was talking about. As Kanika mentions in a post on Facebook a little later in the evening after our meeting:

Just attended a 100% useful presentation by Michael Smith at the Elk Grove Artists meeting on outdoor photography. He gave more info in one hour than several of us learned in much longer seminars/classes.

I think what helped is that though the discussion was mainly for taking good landscape photos for either hanging on a wall or for those of us who paint from photo references, he actually also touched on how to take photos of the 3 dimensional objects and such that our sculptors create so they can better display them online. Michael also towards the end of his lecture went through a collection of photos he was using as examples of some points he had touched on earlier. Overall it was informative and the meeting was quite enjoyable. 

If you're interested in looking for a group and happen to be in the Elk Grove area, check out the Elk Grove Artists group at the website elkgroveartistsca.org . They are always looking to add new members and help with a lot of the local events in the area such as the Western Festival, Art Run, the Art2Hang program (finding businesses to allow art to be hung in their establishments and offices for up to 3 months at a time before being rotated), and scholarships to Elk Grove Unified School District high school seniors who are planning on pursuing an education in the visual arts. 

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