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THE SHOWS GO ON!
Our gallery remains closed (more about that below)
but artists are 'isolating' in their studios.
Let's visit two in our ongoing
VIRTUAL STUDIO TOUR.
First stop is Marsha Matheson.  Martha has a sense of humour, and that may be the most valuable quality of all in this time of isolation.
Marsha says:
"Staying at home is something I normally don't mind doing....until I was told I had to stay home. 
So to honor the lack of TP, I made and painted A Wee Stool with 2 Stool Pigeons guarding 2 rolls of TP. (not finished as yet).
Then I decided to make folk art trains with bright colors and animals to give everyone a smile. I am doing 20 trains, all different, while staying home. I have sold 2 of them and I am working on number 6 right now .  I have always loved trains because they brought me back to NS, my home, from Montreal when I was young."
VIRTUAL STUDIO TOUR 

Now let's drop in on Sharon Wadsworth-Smith.

"Okay here goes.

I have a lousy camera right now, just my notepad
but I did take some shots today.

My day at the easel...
...and my studio dog, Bootsy.
I had another one of my realism attacks. I have a tougher time painting abstract now because of my eyes, go figure? [Sharon was mid-way through corrective eye surgery when the pandemic put it on hold.]

I think I might call this painting "Off Keelter"?"
WHERE WILL THE VIRTUAL STUDIO TOUR STOP NEXT?
WHY NOT AT YOUR STUDIO?

Join the fun! Send a photo or two of your studio, your work in progress, and one of you, to:
info@lunenburgartsociety, by May 13. 
WE ZOOM!
The LAS Board of Directors is responsible to steer the whole Society to through these pandemic waters. We first tackled the issues via email meetings, complete with Agenda and recorded opinions and votes.
Then we tried Zoom, the video-conferencing tool that allows us to see and speak to each other in real time - as long as our internet signal is strong. As our Parliament has experienced, meeting together in person is preferred, but until that's possible - we'll Zoom! [Photo: typical Zoom screen, but they're not us]
IMPORTANT: MEMBERS PLEASE READ
OPTIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF LAS
On Wednesday, April 29, the Board and five invited Committee leaders met via Zoom to discuss the future of the Lunenburg Art Gallery Society. It was a fulsome two-hour discussion, and all participants listened intently and spoke earnestly.

The Agenda addressed two Options with regard to the future of the gallery:
Option 1: to continue operating the Gallery, but under new management
Option 2: discontinue operating the Gallery, but continue all other programs in future.

Now we want to ask LAS Members to comment. Here's some background
:
  • New problem: THE PANDEMIC
  • Covid-19 is a financial threat to all enterprises, including our gallery
  • Tourism is unlikely to bring the boost we depend on in July and August
  • PLAF has been canceled for 2020, so no revenue will come from that event.
  • Our over-60 members may be unwilling to be in the gallery for a long time. 
  • Old problem: VOLUNTEER DEFICIT
  • The volunteers who operated the gallery in 2019 took on unsustainable workloads. After repeated, unsuccessful, appeals for help, most have stepped away from those tasks. 
  • Even if there is a 'window' for a show later in the year, we have nobody to turn the wheels. One or two are not enough: it takes a skilled team.
  • The gallery is a seven-month per year business with 12 months of expenses.
  • Hiring a Gallery Manager is not affordable; would those who didn't volunteer to manage the gallery offer instead to run several fundraisers each year.?That's where we were many times in the past. It was not fun work.
  • Good question: WHAT IS THE LUNENBURG ART SOCIETY?
  • The Society is more than the gallery.
  • We have the Earl Bailly Collection, which we must preserve and promote.
  • We have PLAF, which is fun and earns income, and ArtCaravan, which develops new markets for members.
  • We know how to present small pop-up shows or big art galas.
  • Is there an opportunity for LAS to support other art galleries in the area?
  • If you joined the Society only because of the gallery, will you stay for different opportunities?. 
  • Important: FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
  • If we close the gallery in a controlled way, rather than due to lack of funds later, we could afford to store our assets and plan programs like PLAF. If the funds run out it will be very hard to resume anything.
How do you feel about all this? Perhaps some members do see how the gallery could continue and will step forward to do it. In our meetings, some of us expressed grief to lose the gallery. Some expressed sadness that members loved it but not enough to help make it work. And perhaps that was always an unreasonable expectation. Que sera, sera.

Members, we are looking for your guidance, feelings, thoughts, and comments. Option 1, Option 2, or...?
Please tell us in an email to info@lunenburgartsociety.ca by May 15.

They will be circulated to the Board and committee members to review as we try to make the best decisions with the resources we have. If you send suggestions, please indicate also that you are offering to carry them out. 
IN MEMORIAM
JIM HANNAFORD
We received this from Sheila Woodcock on April 19: 
"I was advised of the passing of James (Jim) Hannaford. I wanted to let you know of the huge contributions that Jim made to the Lunenburg Art Gallery. He served as treasurer for at least 10 years, meticulously keeping hand written records of all the transactions and preparing statements for meetings. He also assumed responsibility for the gallery's facility, chairing what was called the House Committee
He always had a keen interest in the gallery, perhaps in part because his wife Barbara is an artist. Barbara last showed as part of a trio of artists in August 2017. After handing over committee roles, due to his eyesight failing, he continued to volunteer every year for Paint Sea on Site, proudly wearing his yellow scarf and going around town picking up paintings. 
 Just one of Lunenburg’s key contributors who we have lost this past month. April 2020 is a month that will long be remembered. "  We send our sincere condolences to Barbara Hannaford, his wife and our member.

 
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We send our sincere condolences to our member Heather Drysdale, on the passing of her husband Raymond LeBlanc on April 21. Heather served as a dedicated Board member and Chair of the Exhibitions Committee, both of which she relinquished so she could respond to her husband's needs. 
Please stay home, make art, and wash your hands!
Next issue of LAS News & Updates May 15.
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