Monday, September 20, 2010

CVAA & Arts at Context - Guest Blog

Arts at Context Future Home

This week, I have a guest speaker: William Schinsky, Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Arts Alliance. I invited Will to tell you a bit about the Coachella Valley Arts Alliance and the Arts at Context project. He is far more articulate about the CVAA than I!



As Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Arts Alliance/Arts at Context, one of my jobs is to find interesting and accomplished work that has not had wide public viewing.

The Arts at Context is an outgrowth of the Coachella Valley Arts Alliance. The mission of the CVAA is to enhance the creative vitality of the Coachella Valley.” Context is the beginning of a solution to meet the needs of the Coachella Valley’s creative community; studios, meeting space, exhibit space. The Arts at Context will be headquartered in a 22,000 square foot structure that has been a part of Indio’s downtown for nearly 8 decades.

During renovations of the building, CVAA has been fortunate to be given four empty store spaces at the Fiesta Mall in Indio. Context at Fiesta Arts is up and happening.

Now back to the fun part of my job: finding, visiting and talking with artists.

I received an email from a friend in San Diego who recently visited Palm Springs. He urged me to find an artist by the name of Jerry L. Hanson. He evidentially liked Jerry’s work. I’d not heard of him so I searched for him on Google. Have you any idea how common is the name Jerry L. Hanson? Eventually, I found him in Palm Springs.

After days of e-mail tag, we set a date for me to visit Jerry’s studio & I found my way to his home/studio. We spent several hours looking at his current body of work, talking about his inspiration and how he developed his unique style & technique. Who in their right mind weaves newspaper?

I invited Jerry to visit the Fiesta Art Gallery and the future home of Arts at Context. And I then invited Jerry to hang his work in the gallery. I think he was excited. Yeah. He was.

Jerry’s sophisticated woven paper works will be on exhibit opening 25 September as part of the Smithsonian Museum Day celebrations. Jerry will share the Context Gallery with Israeli artist, Hanoc Piven, a portrait artist working with recycled materials.

The Arts at Context and Fiesta Arts project are challenging experiments. They do, however, offer opportunities for Art and artists to once again prove that creative individuals can bring new life to struggling locations such as old downtown Indio and a struggling retail urban mall. . Jerry’s enthusiasm and commitment in working with me contributes to fulfilling CVAA’s mission. His participation is personally gratifying.

Achieving the goal to establish the Arts at Context does not seem as daunting when working with professional artists such as Jerry.

Join us Saturday, September 25th in celebration of Smithsonian Museum Day and opening reception for Jerry’s artwork.

William Schinsky

Executive Director,

Coachella Valley Arts Alliance

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