Monday, January 11, 2010
Harlow Gallery is the site of Kennebec Valley Art Association. Its the best art association I've encountered. Since being a member in 2005, many opportunities have opened for me here. I've had memberships in several other associations over the years, but none were as friendly and welcoming as KVAA.
Within the first month that I joined, I remember having five different opportunities. It was more opportunities than other associations offered me in a year! I was instantly amazed by the extent this gallery went to to help support its members. For me it became a gathering place for artists. Its located one hour away in Hallowell, Maine, but the drive never seemed an issue. I couldn't wait to get there, for every time it was always warm and friendly.
Over the years I volunteered my time for various things, from curating/hanging shows to serving on the exhibitions committee, to helping take in art for juried shows. Harlow is where I met Russian master artist, Stas Borodin. He was doing a series of demonstrations while visiting Maine to paint. It was through Stas that I was invited to Saint-Petersburg to exhibit along side of him. Can you imagine Susan Roux and Stas Borodin in an exhibition together in Russia? It still blows my mind that it happened...
My encounter with him was amazing and it began because of Harlow Gallery. He returned to Maine many times to paint and we would set up our easels together, no matter what the weather. Language was difficult, but art kept us laughing and interacting together.
I learned a lot from this wonderful giving man.
Here we are on a dock in Portland, Maine.
This is the wonderful painting Stas Borodin created that day.
It was breathtaking!
After my exhibition in Russia, Harlow Gallery invited me to give a talk on my experience. They've remained honest, supportive and interested every step of the way. It never mattered to KVAA the level of talent an artist had. All were welcomed and treated equally. I think that is an amazing feat! Thank you Harlow Gallery and all the wonderful people who work there.
If you're part of an association that makes you feel like an outsider, I suggest you look for another. It took me awhile to find Harlow, but it was worth all the continued effort. I hope there's a "Harlow" near you!