I want to thank all the volunteers who have worked so hard to make this 2020-2021 year a success at WAS-H, in spite of the pandemic. We are still here, still fulfilling our mission to promote watercolor art.
I have been honored to serve as your President this past year, and despite the challenges we didn’t just survive, we thrived! My term started May 1 and:
- By May 8 we made the technology switch needed to offer virtual classes, thanks to the home broadcast abilities of our early online pioneers Ksenia Annis, Susan Giannantonio, and Ed Pettit, ZOOM, and Nicole Hansen, 2020 education director.
- We purchased broadcast hardware enabling us to broadcast demos and classes from the WAS-H classroom, utilizing our incredible overhead document camera, and switching between internet websites, laptop slide shows of artwork, videos, and live instruction.
- In the year since COVID struck we have hosted 221 online ZOOM and in-person class sessions, which included two 5-day major March workshops with Eric Weigardt (2020) and Keiko Tanabe (2021).
- By June 1 we re-opened our monthly shows to virtual monthly gallery exhibits, with online registration and fee collection, digital painting photo upload, a class to help artists with this, and an online gallery to showcase the paintings and sell them. We continued this way every month, including our Annual Members Show and our International Watercolor Exhibit.
- General Meetings, held monthly using Zoom, had participation ranging from 60-98 each month, with most staying online for the demo, no less than in past years, even though we missed our reception snacks and visits. Door prize gift certificates were emailed to winners of the online drawing.
- Monthly Board Meetings kept everyone safe using ZOOM to review documents, discuss issues, and vote on motions, but sadly without our wonderful pastries by Tom Kraycirick.
- We found a way to offer members no-contact early voting by proxy and regular election day (April 11) voting ballots using digital ballots sent via email. While we all may grumble about technology, it was a key part of this year’s life raft.
- We replaced the upstairs AC unit, utilizing savings carefully set aside by previous boards for just this purpose.
- We had three unexpected personnel changes and while personnel changes mid-stream can rattle an organization, ours has been strengthened. We brought on board a dynamic, outstanding new Education Director (Diann Zimmerman), a fantastic, IRS experienced tax attorney- new Treasurer (Kathleen Cooper), and while Martin Butler enjoys his retirement, we are interviewing from a pool of highly qualified applicants for a new Executive Assistant.
- Thanks to YOU our membership levels stayed very strong, and our Annual Fund Raiser was a success! THANK YOU!
I want to especially thank the dedicated (and FUN) members of our 2020-2021 Board of Directors:
Karen Capper, Vice-President Laurie Hammons, Secretary
Kathleen Cooper, Treasurer Ksenia Annis, Communications Director
Patty Armstrong, Admin Resources Louise Bateman, Past President
Kathleen Church, AME Director Paula Fowler, Gallery Director
Sally Hoyt, Volunteer Director E. Thomas Kraycirik, IWE Director
Karen Stopnicki, Website Director Philip Weigand, At-Large Director
Diann Zimmerman, 2021 Education Director
I am excited about the team of people that will lead WAS-H in the 2021-2022 year, beginning this month. Philip Weigand and Ahlene Shong will provide wonderful leadership as the Co-Presidents. Donna Van Fleet and Irene Sheytman will be strong officers as Co-Vice Presidents. This team approach is a wonderful way to share ideas and the work. Adele Raber will serve as Secretary and Kathleen Cooper is returning as Treasurer. And creative, kind, dedicated people fill out the dozen directorships that keep WAS-H vibrant. Look for more about them in the coming months.
It is going to be a great year! Thank you for your support and kind words throughout the year. They truly do make a difference. I look forward to painting with you and visiting together during receptions. Keep your brushes wet and keep painting!
In grateful appreciation,
Beth Graham, WAS-H President 2020-2021