BY KATHI PARKER
I have been patiently waiting to see to see how the Los Alamos Arts Council takeover of the Art Center will develop. All the social, pandemic aftermath has had me hold back until now.
I have been a member of the Art Center since the 70’s when I was in High School (revealing my age, but emphasizing my membership longevity). I have seen many directors manage the Art Center and was on the board of directors a few times.
I do not know why the change came about with the Arts Council taking over the Art Center. Please know that I am a close friend and supporter of Ken Nebel, the most recent director. His leadership brought more followers, members and participants in shows and events than I can remember. Show openings became big social gatherings with music and food and visitors from all over.
I have not yet seen a growth of classes for children or adults. I know Covid has been a player in this atmosphere. Fellow artists are not as readily participating in teaching or shows.
I, personally, have been a regular participant in the Art Center Life Drawing group that started in the 1950’s and that is what ‘ drew’ (no pun intended) me to becoming a member. The rooms for Life Drawing were always considered part of the Art Center’s contribution to the community. My understanding is that our group would have to pay a pretty significant rental fee to use the County classrooms in the Art Center. Fees for models are difficult as it is. (Our group is now meeting in a small back room in the Village Arts building—owned and operated by Nebel.)
The Arts Council is encouraging more membership and donations but I am not seeing what the change has brought to benefit artists yet.