By Mark Love, Wimberley Valley Art League President.
Wherever I go people come up to me and ask, “Why should I give my time volunteering for the Wimberley Valley Art League?” Ok nobody has ever asked me that. But I wish they would, because I’ve got a great one-word answer: Purpose.
Two kinds of purpose, actually. There’s the crucial purpose WVAL serves in the Wimberley community, and then there’s the purpose we all feel when we’re part of making that happen.
By chance I was listening to the Life of Pi audiobook while working yesterday and heard this in the author’s preface: “If we citizens do not support our artists then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.” I winced a little at the overstatement until I started imagining Our LIttle Piece of Heaven without art. Would it even be Wimberley? Isn’t art what we’re known for here? Isn’t art why people visit? Isn’t art why most of us moved here in the first place? Isn’t art why we love it here?
This is what I mean by purpose. The WVAL is here to help make sure Wimberley keeps growing in our unique artist-colony identity. We do this by giving every Wimberley artist every opportunity to show, to grow, and to connect. To show in our Juried Gallery Show and Art in Public Places. To grow in our special workshops and monthly artist demos. And to connect with each other on the Studio Tour as well as with enthusiastic patrons at our annual Arts Fest and Blue Agave Arts Festival.
Then there’s my personal favorite event, the Student Art Show, when we gather dozens of jaw-droppingly beautiful works from students at local schools, frame and hang them with great care in our beautiful gallery, then hold a fancy reception in their honor.
So when I think of all that WVAL does for Wimberley and its amazing artists I feel lots of things. Thankful, amazed, excited, and…
Nervous. Nervous because the survival and vitality of the whole operation always comes down to one thing: the enthusiasm of our volunteers to keep doing the work.
What our many volunteers do defies logic. To work this hard for no pay doesn’t make sense. Maybe they are all perfectly evolved humans, entirely free of all ego and selfish thoughts. Maybe they are each so spiritually advanced that their only wish in life is to give back.
Or now that I think about it…nah.
Maybe it’s just that by plugging into the Art League’s purpose they gain some purpose for themselves. And there are few things more valuable than that, as we know. A group to be
part of, a challenging task to complete, a celebration to enjoy. All of it in the name of helping our special little town stay especially artsy. Purpose.
Please be thinking about where and when you’d like to help the Art League fulfill our purpose this year. Please keep your eyes open to the calls for volunteers you’ll be seeing as the months go on, or please email us now WimberleyValleyArtLeague@gmail.com and let us know you’d like to plug in somewhere. We will need lots of helpers for Arts Fest, for Blue Agave, for meetings and workshops, for the Student Art Show, etc. We’ll be looking for behind-the-scenes help and new leadership in many areas as well, so please consider stepping up in that way if we reach out.
Whether you’re an artist or a supporter in WVAL we are so grateful that you’re part of us. If you have time and energy to give and you’d like to add some purpose to your life by plugging into ours, please consider this your invitation. We’d love to work with you!