New art association president sets sights on getting organized

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Elaine Sartin, seen here with a recent work, is taking over as president of the Keizer Art Association. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Elaine Sartin, seen here with a recent work, is taking over as president of the Keizer Art Association. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

When Elaine Sartin started her job as president of the Lakewood Artists Guild in California, the group had 80 members. When she called it quits, four years later, the group had 250 members and growing.

She’s hoping to bring a little of that magic to her new role as president of the Keizer Art Association.

“A big part of it is getting organized. For such a long period of time, everyone has been doing what’s necessary to keep the art association going and they burned out. We’ve got to find a way to change that,” Sartin said. “I’ve got to get people to understand they have a specific job and they they will have help when they need it.”

For most artists, the word “plan” is as bad as any other four-letter word in the English language, but Sartin hopes to make it less offensive to their sensibilities as she seeks to grow the ranks of the organization.

“What we need most is a stable source of income and that comes from membership in KAA,” she said.

It also doesn’t hurt when non-members stroll through the gallery at the Keizer Heritage Center and purchase a piece of art.

First on her list of to-do’s is finding new ways for the art association for feel more homey to all involved.

“My thing is treating people the way you want to be treated,” Sartin said. “When we have open gallery hours or shows, we need to be meeting people at the door and welcoming them into the space.”

Sartin herself is a primarily self-taught artist working predominately in watercolor and pointillism. She’s no stranger to criticizing her own work, but also recognizes the importance of ego in artistic pursuits.

“You have to be willing to connect with the community outside the arts and we have to do a little more of that with the art association,” she said.

She’s hoping that with a little more organization and something akin to a business plan, the Keizer Art Association will achieve new heights.

“There are wonderful artists here and we want to make sure they are appreciated,” Sartin said.

For more information on the Keizer Art Association, visit keizerarts.com.

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