On the 4th of July today, I reminisce about where I was last year in regards to the YAA: volunteering at the annual craft fair, selling cupcakes outside to kids from St. Georges church, and watching the church attendees perform broadway tunes at the park. It was a day filled with fun and a year later, I look back on that day and smile. Now I am back at the YAA gallery watching over the space and working on the social media pages to promote the organization.
I first got involved with the York Art Association during April of last year- my senior year of high school. I began by volunteering at gallery openings, working on social media, and submitting my artwork for shows. In the spring of last year I submitted my first piece for a show. It was a photograph taken in Martha's Vineyard of an American flag waving in the wind. Although the piece didn't sell at the show, it's now sitting upon my fireplace mantel today as a decoration for Independence Day. Seeing that framed piece there reminds me of how far I've come in regards to my artistic passions since beginning my work for the YAA.
I've seen some amazing work come through the doors of the gallery, but one of my favorite aspects of the YAA is the people. The volunteers, members, board members, visitors, and the people passing by admiring the exterior of the building. As a member of the YAA board, I've become very close with the other board members and have made some amazing connections. These other board members have been so supportive, inspiring, and friendly to me over the past year and have contributed many laughs, memories, and smiles to my life. At our board retreat in May, I learned 10x more about the other board members and it brought us so much closer together. I am so lucky to be part of such an amazing and positive organization that makes me happy to be pursuing a career centered around art and creativity in the future.
Whenever I drive, run, walk, or bike by the fire engine red colored building that houses beautiful works of art and these positive people, I can't help but smile and remind myself how fortunate I am to have found such a welcoming community of artists in my town. To the artists, board members, volunteers, and town members: take advantage of this amazing space and organization as I can't describe how amazing it is to witness how art has shaped the people involved with the York Art Association.
“Art isn't only a painting; it's anything that changes someone for the better, any nonanonymous interaction that leads to a human (not simply a commercial) conclusion.” ― Seth Godin
Thanks for reading my first post! Stay tuned for more! -Alli Jutras (Board member, YAA Volunteer, College Student)