Hi everyone – this is a note going out to all our mailing list supporters!
The Kawartha Arts Network has been an entity for over nine years and I have had the privilege of being the Director for almost eight of them. It has grown tremendously in both stature and membership and – as the only local artists’ co-operative – has given artists working in all mediums a chance to exhibit their work TWELVE months of the year in a professional venue! I am so proud of the name KAN has earned in our community and thrilled to have worked with such a great group of volunteers/artists.
In the past year, there has unfortunately been a steady decline in commitment of members to participate fully in the running of KAN. As a co-operative, it is essential to share the workload among members – help out with all the jobs that need to be done to keep us running (curatorial work, assist with programming, etc.) and sit the gallery on a regular basis to keep Art on Kent open. Relying solely on volunteers and trying not to make our rules too rigid has resulted in a select few people taking on the majority of the workload – in fact, during the month of March, over 70% of the gallery sitting was done by five of the Steering Committee members, who also carried the bulk of the running of KAN on top of that commitment.
Our new conditions of membership for the coming year involve sitting a regular monthly shift at Art on Kent plus helping out on a committee. At present, we don’t have the member commitment/participation to run the space and fulfill our committee responsibilities, so…….unless we have a few new members sign up, we will be forced to close our exhibition space, Art on Kent, as of July 8th. This was a very sad decision for the Steering Committee to make.
If we do not have an increase in members, the Kawartha Arts Network will still continue, but in a different format. We will not have a formal “home”, but you will see us in the community at arts festivals, having pop-up art exhibitions at various locations, doing plein air workshops and meeting to share ideas on techniques, philosophies and just work in general. We will put out new membership forms if needed in June to see if anyone out there would like to join us in that capacity.
In the meantime…..Art on Kent runs as usual, but actually open an extra two hours on Saturdays (11-5). Life drawing is still happening Thursday nights and we have a wide variety of technique classes happening for the next two months, so please sign up asap if interested – details on Facebook or on our website.
Our “last” two shows at Art on Kent will be the Members’ Show during May and then a special “What’s Your Canada?” themed exhibit running till July 8th, open to both members and non-members ($10 per work to enter). We hope to see a number of non-members participating in this show to celebrate our country’s birthday with Art. Featured artists in the Members’ Room will be Markus Leydolt and Judy Jackett.
If forced to close, Art on Kent, KAN hopes to be able to run another exhibition space in the future……but it seems that the co-operative must be a different entity right now. A sign of the times, unfortunately. I hope to see everyone at our next two exhibits and thank you wholeheartedly in your support of Art on Kent in the past.
Kawartha Arts Network
“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone….”
– Joni Mitchell