Program Coordinator Statement
Emeryville is a small city geographically and that compact size also allows us all to bump into neighbors and colleagues every day. At the post office last week an artist in the exhibition saw me and said, “I’m glad I’m not you right now!” It made me laugh out loud and then just made me smile for the next few days. He imagined the anxiety of our perennial “no permanent exhibition space”, so many things waiting on that one element. Well, he was right. Sometimes I’d be glad not to be me right now but I love this incredible event, in spite of that, and look forward to some of that energy in the future going toward expanded programs and outreach for the exhibition.
Our Board of Directors, Operating Committee, and volunteers do a lot of the “heavy lifting” to carry the exhibition aloft. Board members Pam Mendelsohn, Frances Gaston, and Linda Boyd organize our many volunteers and keep this crucial element running smoothly. Linda also handles all things regarding our website, internet communiques, signage, and on and on. Our opening night reception is our city’s cultural and community event of the year with members Kelly Grace, John Bauters, Frances Gaston, and Albert Repola at the helm. After all these years, we still like to party! Gwen Souza, with Pam Mendelsohn, takes charge of artwork intake with efficiency and a wicked sense of humor, all the while tending to detail and then Gwen doubles back on opening night next to Linda, both of them keeping those receipts and artwork flying out the door. Kava Massih and Ken Schmier, thank you both for all of your efforts in securing a space for us this year … 15 property owners contacted in the hunt…thank you for all you both do, much beyond this, for our organization.
Our publicist Genevieve Antaky does a masterful job of getting our story out, always curious about this year’s artists and work. Curator Kathleen Hanna is simply a master of her curatorial trade. There’s no other word for it. The work is selected in July and then arrives a week before the opening. She walks, walks, walks the space, always an artwork in hand, and things move and then they move again. I come around a corner and see a grouping of maybe three pieces and just quietly stop and say to myself “Wow!”. That’s what she does. Working with Suzanne Anderson, such a creative individual and spirit, we love our luscious paint brush graphic this year. Nothing but kudos coming your way, Suzanne, for that and all of your skills. Thank you to all of you for your extraordinary talents and your continued patience with me and our event.
An enormous thank you to Ron Mooney and the entire Mooney family for the exhibition space at their historic Pickleworks building. With family businesses in Emeryville for over 100 years, I hope, and think, you will be pleased with our way of honoring that history for our short month at 1375 55th Street.
Thank you to our City Council members for their continued support, City Manager Christine Daniel, Economic Development Manager Chad Smalley, Amber Evans, Navarre Oaks, and everyone at Public Works. And, of course, none of this would be possible without our generous donors, both individual and corporate, including our additional Event Sponsor this year: MedMen. Thank you!
A special thanks to Regina Almaguer who has facilitated the City of Emeryville’s Exhibition Purchase Award for many. many years in a consulting capacity for the City’s Public Art Advisory Committee. You tell us you’re retiring … we thank you for all of your work.
And then gratitude for former Councilmember Dick Kassis who served on our Board and Operating Committee for many, many years before retiring. He passed away this September and those of us who have been around for decades remember his dedication to us and our organization.
No pickles, no vinegars, no liquid sugars and syrup but we do have art. Come experience it with us and explore another corner of Emeryville.