Jamaica Plain Arts Council hosts annual meeting virtually

The Jamaica Plain Arts Council (JPAC) held its annual meeting virtually on November 17, where the board talked about this year’s Open Studios and events.

According to the Jamaica Plain Open Studios website, “the Jamaica Plain Arts Council is a working board, made up of individuals from the arts, business and local community. Board members participate in the planning, organization and the heavy lifting to support artists and create arts related events in Jamaica Plain, in accordance with its mission statement.”

Susan Duprey talked about this year’s Open Studios, which took place entirely outdoors this year on September 25 and 26.

She reported that there were 115 artists and artist collaboratives registered for the event, surpassing the goal of 80 to 100.

She said that JPAC was prepared for people who did not feel comfortable coming out into a public space, and they weren’t sure what the response would be from artists or the public.

“Overall, we were really, really happy with the turnout,” she said, and got “a lot of positive feedback about the event.”

The group also talked about fundraising efforts and how they might approach that heading into next year’s Open Studios, which is scheduled for September 24 and 25.

Additionally, Duprey talked about classes and workshops that were offered by JPAC this year. 

In total, there were four workshops; three virtual and one in person.

The free workshops were hosted by Anna Koon, On Feb. 28, a virtual artist bootcamp was held with the title “Selling Your Art Online/Maintaining Your Brand Online.” On March 27, “Accounting for Artists” was held, on April 2, a workshop titled “Finding the Right Formula; How to Confidently Price Your Products and Services” was held, on August 28 was the “Open Studios In Person Intensive,” and on September 2, the organization offered “Virtual Making the Most of Open Studios.”

Duprey said that there were between 10 and 15 artists at each workshop.

JPAC also hosts “small works and projections every other year,” Duprey said, and this year a projection event was held outside at First Unitarian Universalist Church on September 12. No food or drink was allowed, but the group said that the event’s success came partially from those walking by on the street who stopped to admire the art, as they may not have known about it otherwise. 

It was a juried show, and artusts Brian Bishop and L’Merchie Frazier served as jurors. Three winners were selected: Best in Show went to “Black Brilliance” by Sharif Muhammad of Jamaica Plain, Juror’s Choice 1 was “At the Edge of Despair and Possibility” by Ruth Rosner of Watertown, and Juror’s Choice 2 went to “Ekim” by Duygu Aytac of Roslindale. 

“It was great; it was a nice atmosphere,” said board member Constance Cervone. Music was provided by HONK!, and attendees of the meeting said that they really enjoyed the music. 

The group also spoke about plans for next year and what the organization will look like moving forward. Annie Cardinaux said she wants to “hear about vision and impact” as well as the group’s work on diversity and inclusion. 

“This is going to be a big transition year for us,” said board member Anne Brown, and she said the “biggest change” at first is the election of a new board.

At the meeting, the group elected Anne Sasser to be the new president, as longtime president Joy Cochran is stepping down. Members expressed their gratitude for Cochran’s service over the years and spoke very fondly of her. 

New member Glen Hawkins was elected vice president, and Anne Brown will be the treasurer. Other members include Robin Radin, Gail Bos, Alison Cupples, Constance Cervone, Keyse Angelo, 

Susam Duprey, and new member Cristina Hajosy. 

For more information about JPAC and JP Open Studios, visit jpopenstudios.com.

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