A note from Steve Ballard (outgoing NorthEast Chapter Chair)

Dear WP&S/WAAM Members and Friends:

The last three years as WP&S/WAAM Northeast Chapter Chair has been fun and fulfilling. My heart soars like an eagle when I think of the incredible cooperation that has existed between fellow board members, the three chapters, and the state board. Reflecting upon this great stretch of time, I am prompted to thank all the people who made it a smooth flight.

First and closest to home, I am particularly proud of the way Treasurer Sophia Amm, husband Bruce, and Membership Chair Shelley Grund went beyond their usual duties by keeping a constant vigil over our membership list with state list coordinator, Jim Ottney. Together they rid us of a frustrating communication problem that existed in getting newsletters to every member’s doorstep.

Our chapter board proved that there is strength in numbers as we brainstormed for speakers and stimulating meetings. I have grown especially fond of Program Chair John Fix, ever appreciating his soft-spoken but diligent manner of procuring meeting space and getting the word out. Jo Geenen provided her excellence in taking minutes, while Margaret Brewster proficiently publicized our events. As always, Vice Chair Lee Mothes stood ready to cover for me as needed. Charlotte Darling Diehl and Sherry Gates remained representatives on the state board for the duration of my term. Not forgotten are Secretary Katie Verbeten and Vice Chair Leslie Vidas who are both raising families. Speaking of families, please give my wife Patricia a pat on the back for her technical support.

Creating exhibitions is a big part of the WP&S/WAAM mission statement. Our chapter stayed true to its goal of hosting at least one chapter exhibition every year and one statewide exhibition every two years. This would not have been possible without the exhibition space provided by UW-Fox Valley, Aaron Bohrod Gallery; St. Norbert College Baer Gallery; Beloit College, Wright Museum; UW-Oshkosh, Priebe Gallery; and the Wausau Center for the Visual Arts. My deeply felt thanks go to all the individuals at these institutions, our sponsors, and to Bonnie de Arteaga, Mary Ann Carter, Ned Cain, Marilyn Jeray, and Charlotte Darling Diehl for their help in planning those shows.

I am fortunate to have been in office while Gary Gresl was President of the State Board. Through his initiative, temperance, and kind heartedness I learned that mountains can be moved. It was a pleasure to witness the fruition of such WP&S outreach events as the Wisconsin Artists Biennial, Wisconsin Visual Artists Lifetime Achievement Awards, and the David Gordon reception that ultimately became one of the most fantastic gatherings of Wisconsin artist organizations ever.

Significantly, I was able to find volunteers for any task that came along. As Gary has stated, it would be impossible to mention all those folks who helped. I am thankful for our growing membership from which to draw volunteers and create diversity. On that note, I have one regret. I failed to boost the number of students in our WP&S/WAAM membership. Had I experienced this when I was in my twenties, I could have used all that I have learned for so many more years. Enter!...new Northeast Chair Charis Congail, who promises to implement exciting programs and exhibitions. I wish Charis and State Board Chair Peggy Zalucha much success, while I assume work on our exhibition, “Two Cultures – One Spirit” with our Japanese counterparts.

Take it easy, but take it,
Steve Ballard