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What artists talk about: Falls Church Arts

All Members Show opened earlier this month
All Members Show opened earlier this month
James George

What the audience sees are paintings, sculpture, pottery, video/film, and photography in a gallery space. What the public community does not see is all of the effort that it takes to create and sustain the gallery venue, to curate and prepare exhibits, and to promote them.

FCA Board member Mark Werblood and President, Barb Cram
Manuela Costescu

Art is a process that begins with artists. Artists become a part of a system, part of which is controlled by them, and other parts are collaborative systems and organizations. Some common elements are shared among them that are characteristic of the arts profession.

“Critique” is one of the elements of the art process whereby artists present their works-in-progress or finished work to a group of peers for review and analysis. Peer professionals ask questions and probe the artists to explain and describe their intentions, techniques, methods, materials, media, purpose et al.

The outcome is that an artist is able to improve their storytelling and to improve their art. It is like quality control for which the standards are different among the various types of art. The Falls Church Arts organization conducts critique sessions for members once a month.

Anyway, last night was a member meeting. Lots happened that included voting for a slate of board members, most of whom were present. It included President Barb Cram conducting a lively business session that encompassed organizing five breakout groups to address several questions. Group spokespersons presented the outcomes for member consideration and the president’s review.

The questions are all about soliciting ideas that engage the community, set the direction, and to reinforce what works and what needs improving.

Barb Cram summed up a central point, and that is that artists can strengthen the venue and organization by developing their own art communities and recruiting their audience to attend gallery openings and exhibits.

Other members tend to agree that artists being in attendance as a group strengthens the organization and Falls Church Arts brand. The idea is for FCA and ArtSpace to be a destination. That is becoming more of a reality with each exhibit.

There is a sense among the group to pursue outreach with other organizations that can expand the immediate community and beyond including Arlington County and the DC Metro.

"People’s Choice" ballots were counted last evening to determine the top three winners in the All Member’s Show concluding now. Stay tuned for the results.