Grand Valley Artists will be hosting a reoccurring patchwork sale, selling four by seven pieces of original art, until Sunday, March 27. Dana Donell, president of GVA, is excited for the sales because all the proceeds will go back to benefitting the artists.
This will be the first quilt artist sale hosted by GVA. The work will be accompanied by 600 works of art created and donated by members of the club. All proceeds will support the GVA mission and be sold for $15 each. Donations help support the cost of hiring instructors and maintaining facilities for students’ use. It also allows for more full class programs and is scheduled for all levels of artists.
Donell explained how she has always had a passion for the arts and became involved seven years ago through a friend who invited her to the GVA.
Donnell urged students interested in art to get involved. She said that joining a group like GVA helped her pursue her passions.
“I remember sitting on a beach when I was on a retreat and writing the words, ‘I want more art in my life,'” Donell said. “I didn’t know it then, but somehow, putting it out there as an intention brought many opportunities my way. I think joining an organization like GVA does something similar. It makes you accountable to yourself, it gives you the support of others who share your passion and it’s fun.”
Donell explained how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected running the club and what challenges it brought. Despite the struggle, GVA persevered thanks to donations and grants from the Michigan Arts and Culture Council. Donell thanked the MACC and National Endowment for the Arts for helping them relocate to their new studio and gallery.
“We now have over 260 members who enjoy classes, workshops, programs, meetings, exhibits, sketch sessions with live models, critiques and social time together,” Donell said.
The club has grown in many ways over the years. Donell said that in fall 2021, the club was involved with an active-strategic-planning team that would help establish short and long-term goals for the club. With the help of the grant, they reached the status of a full-fledged nonprofit organization. The club has been involved in many other projects working on helping the Grand Rapids art community grow.
“We began reaching out to underserved parts of the artistic community and hosted two new shows at the gallery: a high school AP art show in January and a Black History Month show in February,” Donell said.
Donnell said students should keep an eye out for a high school art show in the near future.
“We hope to be collaborating with a gallery named Lions and Rabbits on an intergenerational public art project this summer,” Donell said. “Details are still in the works. I would love more young people to join our organization. We want to ensure a vibrant future for GVA and young artists who bring forward-thinking energy and new technical skills. We learn from the younger generation, which helps keep us young at heart.”
Further information about the GVA project or students hoping to join can be found at www.grandvalleyartist.com.