Not the kind of mass you're probably thinking of but rather the Monday Artist Support Sisters. Back over 8 years ago I was invited by a friend to go to the monthly meeting of a women's artist group down in Ann Arbor. Every month they gathered to socialize, talk business and share what was going on with their own artwork. As I was driving home I decided I really wanted the same thing in Grand Rapids so I called a few friends and the group was formed. It's 8 years old this month!
We all work in different media but have the uniting factor that we all do art fairs for a living (plus we're all women). Sometimes we talk about shows, show new work or talk about our work and sometimes, none of those things happen. But we meet because working alone in your studio can be very isolating and this gets us out amongst friends!
The last few years we've developed our own personal goals for the year and brought them to the group in January. Then in the middle of summer we take a look and see how we're doing. For some, they've all been met. Others haven't even started yet. Then in December we go over how we did. For me personally, that's been a good lesson.
Today we met with Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood who along with being a reporter for the Grand Rapids Press, does a weekly podcast about art, craft and creativity. She also blogs at her site CraftSanity and writes a blog called Running with Needles with an article appearing in the GR Press each Sunday. I especially loved hearing about her podcasting! Now we just have to get her down to the Garage Sale Art Fair to go shopping!
Oh, and the crazy name came about when we did a mock slide jury years ago and we felt we needed some kind of name for our group. As Judy said today, now she just tells her husband she's going to Mass!