Volunteering adds personal value to local artists’ lives

Volunteering adds personal value to local artists’ lives
Concord Art Association board member Pat McDermont, right. She shared a table with Mary Lujan at the Holiday Art & Craft Pop-Up in downtown Concord last month.

CONCORD, CA (Dec. 9, 2021) — Volunteerism is many things – help where it’s needed, passion to move projects along, opportunities for networking and good medicine for the soul.

For the Concord Art Association (CAA), the dedicated volunteers who comprise the board of directors and various committees are crucial to the organization’s ability to support local artists and bring the joy of visual arts to the whole Concord community.

“Volunteering means skill-building, exchanging ideas and helping others,” says Sharon Petersen, CAA treasurer. “But ultimately, it means giving back and that’s what makes me tick.”

Petersen also finds value in volunteering with respect to being part of a community. “Since I was an artist early in my career, I really didn’t know if I had a strong enough commitment to my art upon retiring. Could I work alone, without a community to talk to and learn from? Belonging to CAA offers me a whole group of people with similar interests – I’ve made great friends. We attend events together and share new experiences.”

Increasing visibility

Kim Lawson feels a sense of belonging, accomplishment and purpose. “Working on CAA’s rotating gallery committee has allowed me to increase visibility for my own art and build relationships with other artists, whose feedback and inspiration I appreciate so much. It’s very fulfilling to give something to the community where I live and work.”

Pat McDermont admits she felt scared and a bit out of her league when she joined the CAA board to oversee the plein air committee. “I’m basically an introvert, but the amazing people I’ve met are so welcoming and supportive,” she says. “Everyone shares their knowledge and encourages each other with enthusiasm, which has given me a newfound confidence in myself and my art. I love volunteering my time when I know it will positively impact others like this.”

“Being part of an art community gives me a place to build friendships with other artists,” says Renaye Johnson, CAA secretary. “I constantly get new ideas, hear about new shows and classes and feel support for my work. CAA is a great place to ‘be somebody’ and feel like an integral part of valuable community efforts.”

For Samineh Perryman, being a CAA board member has helped her build more confidence and courage. “I’ve learned about different art disciplines and have met so many wonderful artists as part of CAA’s social media committee. This community has allowed me to grow and build close friendships and, most importantly, it motivates me to practice my passion daily.”

Following a member vote, CAA announced 2022 updates to its officers. John Nakanishi will be president. Patti St. Denis becomes vice president. Outgoing president Catherine Hensiek will step into the secretary role and Sharon Peterson remains treasurer.

Visit ConcordArtAssociation.org to learn more about volunteer opportunities. All artists and art lovers are welcome.

Lisa Fulmer
Lisa Fulmer

Lisa Fulmer is a mixed media artist, Concord Art Association board member and founder of MadeinConcord.com. She also consults with local artists on self-promotion and personal branding.