With Barbara von Schreiber
Executive Director - WAA
Before you became director in 2014, you were very active in the WAA community. What is the most important reason for this devotion?
Jane Turner Morse was a beloved local artist, devoted member of WAA and my mother-in-law. She was an avid ceramicist, sculptor and painter and showed her work in our space dozens of times over the years. When Jack Dunbar asked me to join WAA as Exhibition Chair in 2010, I jumped at the chance to participate in honor of both of these extraordinary artists.
How has WAA evolved over the past several decades? What makes it so important not only for our members but for our community?
Our mission at WAA is to enrich our community through education, exhibitions, and special events. Every year we strive to innovate in each of these areas. In 2016 alone, we added (2) off-site exhibitions giving our members more opportunity to exhibit, and we continue to find new and exciting ways to partner with the community at large. In 2017, WAA launched an off-site distinguished speakers series and a series of documentary film evenings at WAA.
What kind of person gets involved with WAA? Is it just for artists?
WAA is for artists and art lovers and anyone curious to experience art. It’s a vibrant environment for members to socialize, take classes, participate in workshops and exhibitions, and attend lectures designed to appeal to our unique community.
You wear many hats to keep WAA up and running. What is your favorite and least favorite task?
My favorite task is managing the art classes. It is so rewarding to see how much talent is in our community. The Members Show never ceases to amaze me. I guess tidying up is one of my least favorite tasks. It never seems to end.
Who is your favorite artist or what period?
Richard Diebenkorn, 1922 – 1993. I love his color palette, whimsy and vision.
Where do you think the art world is going in 2018?
From what I gather, it looks like 2018 will be the year when art and artists encounter politics and cultural commentary head-on.
What is your major wish for the future of WAA and de facto the arts in our community?
I hope the beautiful re-design of WAA by the architecture firm Gray Organschi, with guidance by WAA president Peter Talbot, comes to fruition. The Gallery needs a fresh new look and a new entrance that can be seen from afar. The Arts in the Community will continue to thrive. There will always be a need for beauty and solace in whatever form.