Chapter 13: Supporting My Fellow Artists by Judy Vienneau
As many of you reading this already know, I am the founder of the Gulf Coast Artists’ Alliance, a 15 year old non-profit artists group here in Pinellas County. Under the GCAA, I am the director of a retail cooperative art gallery called St. Pete ArtWorks on Central Avenue in Downtown St. Pete. Since the coronavirus has forced retail stores to shut down, I have spent the last week using my graphic design skills to create an e-commerce website for the gallery. I used Wix.com, which was relatively easy to use and gratefully didn’t require writing any code! The website is now up and represents the current group of 20 artist members at our gallery, one of which of course is me!
Recently I have done a lot of soul searching regarding my role as “leader” of an art group which averages 50 members annually. It is basically volunteer; I receive a small stipend, mostly in trade. Since I am pursuing the advancement of my career as a fine artist, I have considered cutting back on or even eliminating my volunteer commitments. However, it seems whenever I decide to do this, I spearhead a new group project! (Like the new website). I have come to the conclusion that bringing these projects to fruition, especially if they are successful for the artists, brings me a level of joy and satisfaction I do not get in other areas of my life.
So, for now, I feel compelled to help my comrades in art get past these new challenges in our society. (Within limits of course – artists, don’t contact me to design a website for you for free!) I don’t expect I will forgo this “calling” any time soon.
Check out the new site at www.StPeteArtWorks-onlinestore.com