The 2020 Membership Show entries have been sent to Nancy Mullens at the WSI office, and that show goes online on May 16.  The 2020 Juried Show entries have been received by Nancy at the office and that show will be virtual in August and maybe/perhaps will also hang live and in color at Newfields for our annual Juried show, which runs from August 7-September 26 with the awards ceremony on August 9.  Our juror for this year, Keiko Tanabe, will both choose the show and judge the show virtually.  Who would EVER have thought that our lives and passions would become virtual and depend completely on technology.

I’ve had some interesting conversations–good conversations–with some WSI members who are reluctant to embrace technology.  Previous decades would have referred to them as Luddites.  I’m not sure why they are reluctant–they’re all very bright, talented people.  Maybe it’s because they’re afraid of trying something new to them or learning something new.  Maybe they’re afraid of making mistakes, but mistakes can be corrected. I bought my first computer over 35 years ago after having taken a computer class for English teachers at a local university.  I was stunned by the time the technology saved me as a teacher.  When I finished the class, I told my husband that I wanted to buy a computer, and he said that he thought the idea was silly and that computers weren’t going to be around very long.  HA!  That was 1983, and I bought the computer, and it changed my professional life for the better and enhanced the learning process for my children.  In 1983, of course, computers were little more than word processors, but that was OK.  It meant I and my children did not have to re-type a paper with a mistake or use the ugly “white-out.”  It meant that we could correct our papers on the computer and then print them.  SO MUCH time saved.  When we were able to go online around 1994, that access was even better.

I know there are pitfalls to technology.  We have to guard our privacy, for example, and there are ways to accomplish that.  It isn’t perfect, but it can work.  As an arts organization, can you imagine where we would be without this technology that lets us continue to have our Member Show but in a new format?  Without technology, we would have had to cancel our Juried Show this year.  The solution to make it virtual isn’t perfect, but it’s much better than shutting everything down for this year and perhaps next year and maybe the year after until science (yes, I believe in science) can provide us with a vaccine for this extraordinarily dangerous virus.

So, this is the new normal.  Technology that has been around for decades is the new normal.  I personally embrace it, and I always have.  If you can’t “embrace” it, at least use it to continue your contact with art and artists and the entire creative process.  Let it enhance your lives.

Paint beautiful things.  I hope to see all of you face-to-face very soon.  But if I can’t, I can at least see you online.

But That’s Just My Opinion.