For over 25 years, the Vashon Island Art Studio Tour (VIAST) has treated the Island to Studio Tour twice each year. Recently, to bring all the visual artists of Vashon under one roof whether Studio Tour participants or not, the Board of VIAST voted to change the name of the organization to Vashon Island Visual Artists (VIVA) and expand not only its purpose but its artist support services and educational goals. Morgan Brig, VIVA President, noted “Change is hardly ever a tidy affair, but the visual artists of this island now have a need, a kinship even, in diving in. Perhaps VIVA! will capture that, and we will have a creativity power-surge on our hands.”
For the first time since the renaming, the visual artists and their supporters are invited to a meeting at Open Space, Sunday, March 18, at 7pm.
In May 2015 VIAST formally received its designation as a 501 (c) 3 and, in addition to Studio Tour, launched an educational program, funding $1000 in high school scholarships to emerging artists as well as educational programs for members. With the name change to VIVA and expanded purpose Studio Tour will now be but one of the key programs of VIVA. Tthe Board has been brainstorming new programs and services that the visual artists need and want- now it’s time to hear from the artists to learn how they can be best served. The Open Space meeting will cover the proposed programs discussed by the Board as well as recommendations from the artists that night to create the most inclusive vision possible.
Interested in financial assistance with workshops, residency programs or personal emergencies? Want to know where to go funding for art projects? Need some training in photographing your art, creating websites, marketing and business skills? How about discounts from material suppliers? Have ideas on how to improve Studio Tour? Interested in being part of group VIVA exhibitions? Dreaming of an artists’ program or service no one has even thought of yet? VIVA Board member Kristen Reitz-Green commented that “At a time of heightened tensions between VCA and the visual artists on Vashon, I see VIVA emerging as a unified voice and advocate for the interests of the working artists of this island”. So, bring your ideas, immediate or visionary, to Open Space on March 18 at 7pm and be part of creating your organization- Vashon Island Visual Arts (VIVA!)