Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Welcome to the Illustrators Club

Hello Members of the Illustrators Club of Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia and followers of our blog. I thought maybe the best way to introduce the Illustrators Club to those who are new would be to give a brief example of some of the activities we created last year. The short list of activities for members to participate in are Club sponsored shows, gallery tours, speakers and seminars.

For example, last December we held our Members Show at the Art Institute of Washington's gallery in Rosslyn, VA and last summer our Juried Exhibition at Pepco's Edison Gallery in Washington DC . The core sentiment of these shows has been to expose the community at large to Illustration and the fantastic work which is sometimes overlooked in the guise of everyday print materials. It has been important to the field as the gallery setting, among other things, has helped to increase the appreciation and solidify the position of Illustration in the Arts.

Most recently, we held a private tour with the National Portrait Gallery to see the "Ballyhoo!" poster exhibit held there. Among the posters ranging from victorian to modern day was Shepard Fairey's special piece done for the gallery of the Obama "HOPE" poster. Last year we held a tour of the Kelly Collection; a local, private collection of some of the most outstanding pieces of Golden Age Illustration. It was an unforgettable day to say the least. 

We coupled the Kelly Tour with our speaker series. It was a great pairing as our speaker was Illustrator/Professor Murray Tinkelman; a legend among the Illustration community. If you have a chance, read the article/interview with Murray in issue 23 of Illustration magazine. His down to earth speaking style combined with his lifetime in Illustration (beginning with Cooper Studios) made for the best in information and entertainment. In fact, we were able to have Murray walk through the Kelly Collection with us. It truly offered great insight into the works we viewed that day. Like I said; unforgettable.

Before I leave the subject of Murray and the study of Illustration I would like to make a brief mention of the Limited Residency MFA in Illustration program at the University of Hartford Murray started the program there and it's a great one! Both Paul Zdepski and myself are attending and I can honestly say it's possibly the best thing you can do for yourself as an Illustrator. Whether your goal is to teach or to rediscover your personal vision among a group of peers, the program will support you.

To get back to the Club; we regularly hold a Business and Legal seminar. This year we plan to add a special speaker to discuss the lucrative practice of licensing illustration. Of course we maintain an active role in the dissemination of information regarding the Orphan Works legislation and the possible dangers which exist to the rights of Illustrators today. We have coupled this with our support of and affiliation with ASIP (American Society of Illustrators Partnership) .

I am personally proud to be a part of the Illustrators Club for their role and support of ASIP. We have Joe Azar to thank for helping us to make this connection. Without him, the Illustrators Club would not have been involved so early in the development and support of ASIP. Marie Dauenheimer and her connections in the Medical Illustration community have been key to this as well.

It's good to mention Marie here as she has done so much to create and develop the Programs and Activities the Illustrators Club promotes and sponsors. One of the best, in my opinion, has been the ongoing Open Life Drawing sessions held at AiW every Tuesday and Thursday night. While being open to members, opening the the sessions to the public has brought a great variety of people together who simply enjoy drawing the human form. From students to professionals; whether for practice, study or just the enjoyment of drawing, it has been a great experience to get together and draw. All of this while giving back to the community. Students draw along side professionals. What I would have given for this when I was coming along. Did I mention students of AiW are admitted for free?

So the Club really does do a lot. And, it's all done with a volunteer group. Even this blog.

We are always looking for more participation; whether it be suggestions for lecture series, or something we may have never sponsored before. Of course, we are always looking for volunteers too. I have always felt we accomplish so much with a few and can only imagine what we could do with more.

I hope you'll participate.

David Labrozzi
Illustrators Club of Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia

1 comment:

  1. Sounds great.
    Looking forward to participating and learning from others.