North Bank Artists - a DBA of North Bank Artists Community Project a 501 (c)3 non-profit in Vancouver, WA
North Bank Artists was built on a business model that worked well for a decade, making it one of the longest running galleries in Vancouver's history. But rents and operational expenses are rising due to our wonderful community's livability and emergent arts & culture scene.
What is a popular nonprofit to do? Have a pledge drive of course!
North Bank Artists needs to raise $30,000 by the end of August to accommodate costs of operations. Already we have $16,000 in pledges. You can help us meet our goal and/or become a sustaining supporter of this awesome arts community.
Pledge what you can by emailing Maureen at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will then send you a pledge letter, and when we have reached our goal, a pledge reminder.
Thanks so much for your love and support for these many years, or if you are just meeting us, welcome! We are happy to be an anchor gallery, provider of affordable artist studios, and a source of arts internships, art talks, exhibits, and an in-class art pilot program with Vancouver Public Schools.
If you would simply like to send a check, that helps too! Send it to:
North Bank Artists
1005 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
Thank you for your support!
Saturday, North Bank hosted the accomplished Seattle filmmaker Danielle Villegas for a viewing of her short film “Dos Almas” and a discussion of her creative process. The audience was a mix of member artists and folks from our community. The film, which was funded by Artist Trust and shown at film festivals around the country, was beautiful, thought-provoking, and poignant. It accomplished a task most art attempts, which is to be a clear and sounding voice for the artist creating it.
Like most of the art talks North Bank hosts, the conversation with the artist expanded with the input of the audience, and a moment of connection and understanding happened. You never know where a conversation will go, but these ones tend to be enlightening.
Where else in the community are free art talks, thoughtful conversations, and contemporary art exhibited all the time save for our local galleries? Galleries and the programming they offer are precious community assets, like historic buildings, parks, and museums. In fact, many of the artists who show at local galleries will be collected by museums. I think of gallery space as the first public showing for work that could be timeless.
How does a community care for its assets? Fund them and patronize them. Local galleries need people to show up to events, purchase work that appeals to them, and donate when they can to fundraisers. North Bank is a 501 (c)(3) and all donations are tax deductible. Currently, we are especially in need since our rent is going up considerably. We have to find more resources to maintain the gallery and studio spaces, which offer quality arts and cultural experiences to our community year in and year out.
Funding from our online Indiegogo fundraiser will go towards offsetting the rent increase. Any funds raised beyond our immediate need for rent will be invested into creating more art space in our community. To donate please go to: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/save-art-space-for-north-bank-artists#/story
Art galleries are community assets. They create quality experiences, encourage community engagement, and offer a place for local artists to develop their unique vision and share it with an audience. Anyone who values a healthy, livable community can see the value in these contributions. Like any community asset, art galleries need support to survive and thrive. Like anything worth having, art galleries require care.
Currently, North Bank is implementing changes that were in the hopper for a number of years. Our organization is very excited for what comes next.
The first major change is to focus the gallery on supporting our artists better by providing more opportunities for sales. In March and April, the second gallery provided space for member artists to exhibit in a sales-focused show that complimented the solo artists in the front gallery. Many months this year will be focused on audience engaging shows that are not sales-focused, but balancing both sides of the equation is a commitment we make to our artists and community.
A new face is our customer service person Aryn, who is a friendly and welcoming presence. She can answer almost any question you have about the show and our gallery, and she will follow up with anything she couldn't answer straight away.
Also, North Bank Artists Community Project is our legal name, but it's a mouth-full. Consequently, we have decided to shorted it to North Bank Artists for doing business. A new logo is being developed that will highlight this change.
North Bank Artists will continue to insist on artistic integrity, creative proficiency, and professionalism with its member and guest artists. Connecting with our community and including students and guests in our vision by providing high quality artist talks and educational programs will also continue.
North Bank Artists is committed to living up to the original vision of its founding members and even expanding on that vision. Please join us while we explore the possibilities.
As the Executive Director of North Bank, I spend quite a bit of time exploring what comes next for our organization. The future is a moving target, and new developments extinguish old plans with regularity. Nevertheless, we plan, create, and implement. We set goals, adjust and achieve them. We move forward.
For 2015, we will be at home on Main Street and hosting many fabulous new exhibits and events. Already, we have plans that make me smile and clap my hands like a child with an Easter basket. Undoubtedly as the year progresses we will add to our schedule.
Here is what we have in the hopper:
· Spring Art Talks: “In Process” is the theme for the three lecture events to be held in May on the weekends. We are shoring up the schedule, but already have confirmations from three phenomenal artists. Seattle film maker Danielle Villegas will show her short films “Dos Almas” and “In Between: One Body, Two Spirits, Third Gender” and discuss how she makes films. Encaustic artist Erin Leichty will discuss how she makes her stunning work. Last but never least, North Bank Artist Sharri LaPierre, master printmaker, will give an informative lecture about different kinds of printmaking and then demonstrate one. Yay.
· Unjuried Show: In celebration of the ten year anniversary of the Recycled Arts Fair in June, North Bank Artists will host an unjuried event with special guest Bill Leigh. The call-to-artists for that event will be out by next week and all recycled artists in Clark County are welcome to submit a piece to the show.
· Professional development it a recurrent theme for us. We want to support our artists in their craft, community, and development. For the broader community, we are looking at providing professional development lectures for the Fall Art Talks for free. Obviously, there has been a lot of grant writing going on as we seek financial support for quality programming for the arts community. I have noticed when we ask for support our community provides, and for this we are all quite thankful.
· Art of Legacy 2015 will be winding up in a few weeks. This year, we provided the program to a drawing class from Hudson’s Bay High School and an advanced art class from Thomas Jefferson Middle School in partnership with the Clark County Historical Museum. Thanks to Arts of Clark County for coming through and funding the museum portion of the project. For more information about this program, please check out the Art of Legacy page at this site.
· The gallery schedule is the focal point, the alpha and omega of what we do here at North Bank Artists. Our fabulous gallery committee decides on the creative vision and schedule, and they have some very cool things in store. In March, our founding member Rebecca Seymour will exhibit new work based on her fascination with the Hubble Spacecraft photographs. Her work is large and captivating and a must see. Another show I am excited about is the November Arts of Clark County Open Studios Preview exhibit. Fifty of the finest artists in the county will have a piece of work here for the month. Exciting.
What comes next for North Bank Artists is, well, more art, and also discussions about the process of creating it and professional development. Being a community of artists, we will surely have fresh creativity, lots of new ideas, and some of the coolest happenings around town. Join us!
Working in the arts is never dull, and sometimes it is quite amazing. This year, North Bank enjoyed many successes in its mission to provide our artists with opportunities and our community with impactful arts experiences and education. Reflecting on what was accomplished, what was left undone, and what is to come, North Bank is ready for 2015.
A high point for the arts in Vancouver this year was the designation of an arts district by the City of Vancouver. This was the result of many years of hard work done by local artists and art leaders. What helped us to actually realize the dream of an arts district was a partnership between the Vancouver Downtown Association, the arts organizations and businesses, and the City of Vancouver. Partnerships are the most powerful agents of change there are. Only collaboration can improve an entire community, and the Vancouver Arts District aims to improve our community through creative vitality.
North Bank also celebrated the launch of its first in-class education program with the Vancouver School District and the Clark County Historical Museum in 2014. When I designed the program in 2013, I used Washington State Arts Standards to enhance the quality and focus of the program, so that students would have an impactful arts/humanities experience. Studies have showed in-class programs provide more quality than after-school programs, and I so I wrote into the program that teaching artists would work with the classroom teacher during school hours. Fae Moeller and her advanced art class at Thomas Jefferson Middle School were willing to work with us. The results were successful, and Art of Legacy will begin again in 2015, and include a class from Hudson’s Bay High School as well.
Another opportunity presented itself to North Bank in 2014. Due to our years of hard work and optimistic outlook we were acknowledged by the Meyer Memorial Trust this year, when they donated $20,000 to North Bank for operational costs for the 2015 budget. We are truly thankful for the financial support and acknowledgement, and we will be good stewards of this gift, as we have been with all of our grants.
Finally, another happy thought about 2014 is the excellence in our art shows put on by member artists and guests. The most memorable for me was Erin Dengerink’s exhibit “YES!” which featured hers and guests’ installation art. Installation art is more difficult to sell, and so many commercial galleries won’t show it. To have a show like this on Main Street was incredible, and well over 700 guests visited that month. Amazing!
My goals as the executive director of North Bank for 2015 are to bring new artists from a diverse background into membership and improve patronage and fundraising. Long term sustainability for North Bank is a goal our board is working on, too. Like Blue Sky in Portland, arts nonprofits can be successful and sustainable for decades. Also, I will work with others to help maintain and grow a prosperous and thriving arts district. My hope for the Vancouver Arts District is that it will bloom, and in its blooming Vancouver will be an even more awesome place to live and do business.
Happy New Year to all our members, studio renters, patrons, supporters, and friends. May 2015 be a prosperous, happy, and creative time for everyone. Be well!
I was twenty years old and visiting some relatives in California. My grandmother, Margie, was also visiting. She was kind to me, unless I irritated her, and even then she tried her best. I was downstairs in the guest bedroom working on a painting called “Selkie” which was inspired by an Irish myth about a seal who becomes a woman. Margie came downstairs to say hi and saw what I was working on.
“Maureen,” she said in her warbling voice, “That is wonderful. You are very talented.”
Every artist I know has had this experience. Someone in their family or a friend encouraged their work when they did not see its value. Someone outside the self-critical voice in an artist’s head said, “This thing you are doing is worth something. It has value.” This kind of support is the currency artists cannot live without, it’s like food and water.
In the workplace of professional arts, there is a saying: “Who besides your mother thinks your art is any good?” There are thousands of artists competing for gallery space across the country, and the line between what gets shown and what does not can seem cutting, but it is necessary. In the end, professionals have to act, like, well, professionals. It’s not personal it’s business when something gets juried in and something gets juried out. We have all had it happen to us. Because it can be a rough world, even the very best artists I know need a restorative dose of praise on occasion.
The simple act of showing up is another kindness between supporters and their artists. One thing I love seeing at artist receptions and studio tours are family and friends of artists hanging out. You can tell them from the rest of the crowd by the love on their faces, their unusually expert knowledge of the art and its process, and the fact that they don’t leave after a quick walk through. The supporters of every artist linger.
I would like to acknowledge Margie, my sister, and my best friend Alex, who has a framed water-color painting hanging in her living room that I made when I was eleven. These are my earliest supporters. Though no gallery owner will be asking me for their opinions of my work, I will always value input and love from them. I encourage every artist to thank their fan club of friends and family this holiday season- these folks really are something to be thankful for.