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June 18, 1982 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1982-06-18

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Page 8-Friday, June 18, 1982-The Michigan Daily
Association gets people in contact with good art

I

Another was probably the active

(otnefrmPg7) Another was probably the active
technical processes behind each schedule of classes held in the second
finished piece. floor "loft." Everything from lan-
People who don't ordinarily visit art dscape painting to knitting, from
galleries often wander from shop to photography to sculpture, is offered
exhibit area, Chamberlin notes. That, here. And everyone from pre-school
too, is an integral part of the toddlers to senior citizens is welcome to
educational process. sign up for instruction.
"It's a natural flow. You turn the cor- Sometime in the future, Chamberlin
ner and there is a room full of paintings would like to see students earn informal
or sculptures. Most people find them- certificates upon completing a series of
selves wandering in to courses. A ceramic artist herself, she
discover-perhaps for the first trained here in the 1970s, mastering the
time-that viewing art doesn't have to art well enough to go professional for
be intimidating." several years.
When the Association received its fir- Before becoming Executive Director
st grant from the National Endowment in 1979, she also worked as a volunteer
for the Arts recently, that quality-the and served on the Board of Directors
"non-threatening environment," for six months. Prior to then, her
Chamberlin calls it-was a major fac- professional involvement in drug
tor inwinning the award. rehabilitation and other non-profit

programs gave Chamberlin a strong
background in volunteer organizations.
She now finds her work at the Art
Association "both frustrating and won-
derfully unpredictable."
"This is definitely a volunteer
operation," she says, "and it takes a
volunteer mind to work here. We're for-
tunate, though, to have a talented, in-
volved Board of Directors who care
about Ann Arbor and donate their
promotional skills to the Association."
Volunteers also work in the office,
supporting a small staff of three and
one-half paid positions. A grant from
the Michigan Council for the Arts sub-
sidizes the Executive Director, but
prior to 1976 there were no paid jobs at
all.
Memberships have increased since
then, as well as the number of non-
artist members (about one-third of the
total, currently). Other funds come
from sales, state and local grants, and
an unusually substantial amount of
private contributions. Most of the
money is used to build and maintain
new and existing programs.
It still is a "skin and bones
operation," she adds, "but things are
a lot more comfortable than they were
only a couple of years ago."
In addition to its other services, the
Association rents studio space on the
third floor to ten professional artists. As
"artists in residence," they, too, offer

their services when called upon.
Several young artists whose work has
been displayed in the gallery have since
established reputations. Steve
Murakishi, now teaching at Cranbrook,
told Chamberlin his entire exhibit was
later bought by a major corporation
because the right persons saw it at the
Art Association.
Helping create a success like that is
one of the most rewarding aspects of
her job, Chamberlin feels.
Also in the spirit of encouraging new
talent, the organization recently began
to sponsor artistic competitions. Win-
ners of the first competition, entitled
"The Print-1982," will be chosen the
week of June 22. They will receive cash
awards from the Michigan Foundation
for the Arts.
And more programs are envisioned
for the future. Among others, Cham-
berlin hopes to establish college credit
for studio courses, regular art
education lectures, and remote classes
around the community.
The focus will remain on educating
the public and representing emerging
artists, she says, to "enrich and
develop public awareness."
"We want people to have a year-
round place where they can always con-
tact good art,' she concludes. "At
whatever level they're prepared to deal
with art, we want to make sure it's here
for them."

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