For lovers of art and the outdoors, Annmarie Gardens is a must-see Southern Maryland attraction. This week’s Friday Focus talks to Bill Stevenson, the garden’s Director of Marketing and Development, who shared some advice on how to make it in the non-profit sector, as well as details on upcoming events and classes.
Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)
A: Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center is located on Dowell Road in scenic Solomons, Maryland, where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay. The sculpture garden features a 1/4 mile walking path that meanders through woods past permanent and loaned sculpture, including more than 30 works on loan from the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art. Artists in the collection include: Antonio Tobias Mendez, Barbara Hepworth, Cesar, Robert Engman, Jean Arp, Kenneth Snelson and Fransisco Zuniga.
The award-winning Arts Building includes ever changing exhibition space, a gift shop and a sunny patio. Annmarie presents a variety of popular annual festivals, rotating exhibitions, family activities and creative public programs. The Studio School offers classes for all ages and abilities – from pottery to dance – taught by professional artists and arts educators. The artLAB is a hands-on environment for children of all ages to come and learn how to create art using recycled items and more. Come explore this special place where art and nature meet!
Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?
A: My personal favorite moment was when the gates first opened to Artsfest ’13 this past September 21. I have worked many large non profit and association trade shows, conferences and events for the past 25 years, but nothing compared to this outdoor event built, promoted and managed by the team members on staff as well as more than 200 volunteers from the community. The weather was perfect, and despite the 10,000 folks who experienced some small traffic delays during the peak admission times, the atmosphere was absolutely wonderful. More than 175 artists from all over the country had set up their exhibits and people of all ages swarmed all over the Sculpture Garden for two days.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
A: One of the biggest challenges I have found is the balance between keeping our mission of connecting people to art and nature through a variety of engaging exhibits, programs, classes and revenue generating efforts. Keeping that balance between purpose and function is something that always has to be kept in mind. There is a place in society for exposure to art and the lasting experiences it creates. But to also be financially sound is a real challenge. Sometimes the purpose of the Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center outweighs the desire to raise prices or to charge for every little add-on.
Q: How can people really help/get involved?
A: I think growing awareness of our facility holds the keys to our future. If we do a good job of informing residents of the tri-county area about our events, classes and exhibits and then provide a great experience, our success will continue to grow. People will share their good experience with their friends. We provide a great experience for a really great fee. Another great way to support our purpose is to volunteer for any number of efforts we need help with throughout the year. As I mentioned earlier, the more than 200 volunteers during Artsfest was really what made for a great event.
Q: What advice can you give someone looking to work at a non-profit?
A: A trend with non-profits that has become apparent to me, is the need for staff to provide a wide range of skill sets to the job. The ability to multi task and be current using the various software and online platforms used in today’s work place. The days of having niche specialty staff are going away as the interaction between the nonprofit headquarters and their customers is moving at the same “real-time” pace that our everyday lives seem to be moving at. Members expect this flow of up to date information.
When I first started working with the publications department of a large association, everything moved at a pace that was predictable and steady. In today’s world of communications, staff needs to be prepared to promptly react to current events. They need to keep their members informed and educated. Members must feel like they are being taken care of, otherwise their membership has less value and may become a luxury, not a necessity.
Q: Are there any upcoming events?
A: Some of the regular annual events that are coming up are the Halloween in the Garden on October 26 and Annmarie Garden in Lights, which runs from December 5 through January 5 with some nights closed. The details are available online at: http://www.annmariegarden.org/annmarie2/content/garden-lights-magical-light-show
In addition to the regular events we offer art classes for both adults and children, as well as several evening events geared toward all ages. The full list for November classes is:
Holiday Cards & Miniatures is held on November 7 and 8, 2013. The class is a 2-class series provided from 10am to 3:30 pm for students 15-years-old and older. The member cost is $130, while the nonmember cost is $140. There is a materials fee of $15, due to instructor at class or bring your own supplies. A materials list provided at registration by instructor, Nancy Thompson. Create beautiful watercolor greeting cards and artsy acrylic miniature paintings to give away this holiday season. Learn new techniques and tricks to create original cards and paintings to spread holiday cheer.
Getting Started with Pastel This course taught by Mary Ellen Carsley, is designed for the beginning and intermediate student interested in focusing their efforts upon developing strong color skills through the medium of pastel and its various techniques. Students will also have the opportunity to hone their drawing and compositional skills as well. The class is offered on November 16, 2013, from 10:00am to 4:00pm with a member cost of $70 and a nonmember cost of $75. A materials list is provided at registration, no materials will be provided.
Beaded Cabochon Pendants Instructor Liz Printz will share with students how to create a beautifully embellished cabochon (stone) pendant using traditional and new bead embroidery techniques. Great for any level of experience! Class is held on November 23 from 10:00am to 1:00pm with a member cost of $45 and a nonmember cost of $50. There is a materials fee of $30 due at the start of the class.
Metal Fusing for Beginners Instructor Tricia Hall will show students how to fuse .999% pure silver wire using a torch. We will then link the rings together, changing shapes of the links and adding texture, forming a bracelet. A great beginner class for anyone interested in metal work! Class is held on November 10, 2013 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm with a member cost of $40 and a nonmember cost of $45. There is a materials fee of $45 due at the start of the class.
Ceramic Tile-Making Workshop is offered November 2 and 3 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. The member cost is $115 with a nonmember cost of $125. There is a materials fee of $15 due to the instructor at the beginning of class. Spend a weekend with local tile artist Parran Collery exploring several techniques and methods for creating relief sculpted tiles in clay. Students will have the opportunity to create several pieces around a theme that is meaningful to them. Design issues, including form, texture, and color will be addressed. The class is open to all skill levels.
Girls Night Out: Wine and DISH– Holiday Platters Instructor Sarah Houde will show students how to create large platters with seasonal and holiday themes perfect for this season! Learn basic hand-building techniques and develop your own unique forms, patterns, and textures. Decorate your work with colorful glazes and use your dishwasher and oven-safe creations all winter long. The 2-class series is held November 4 and 18 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm both nights. Students must be 21 or older with a member cost of $75 and a nonmember cost of $80. All materials are included.
Intermediate/ Advanced Pottery Come and hone your wheel throwing skills during this six week class. Focus is on refining techniques to improve forms and control over the clay. Agenda includes a small project and then moving to a specific form of each student’s choice. Class time(s) are from 6:00pm to 9:00pm each class with a member cost of $200 and a nonmember cost of $215. Materials are provided, which includes 25 lbs of clay and glaze. Additional clay is available for purchase. The instructor for the class is Ray Bogle. This is a 6-class series with the schedule as follows:
Nov. 21, 6-9pm (Thurs); Nov. 29, 6-9pm (Fri); Dec. 5, 6-9pm (Thurs);
Dec. 12, 6-9pm (Thurs); Dec. 19, 6-9pm (Thurs); and Dec. 21, 10-1pm (Sat)
ArtLAB Mom’s Club:
Nov 4 Makin’ Faces Toy–Learning about Emotions.
November 18th: Terrific Turkey Puppets!
The class is geared for kids ages 3-5 and is held on November 4 from 10am to Noon — drop in anytime during this window! The member cost is $5 parent/child couple; $2 each additional sibling. The nonmember cost is $7 parent/child couple; $2 each additional sibling. Discover your little one’s creative potential in the artLAB! These lightly guided sessions will help your child make great art, fun toys, creative costumes, and new friends. This class is perfect for preschoolers from ages 3 to 5 years old.
Picture This! Art & Story Sessions
November 6 from 10:30am to 11:30am and targeted to ages 4-6. Designed for preschoolers, these hour-long story times teach basic art elements, art styles, and even a little art history with wonderful children’s books, imaginative games, and inventive art projects. Each student comes away with a matted artwork and greater appreciation of all things artistic! Sign up for one class or all of them—Hurry! Space is limited.
First and third Wednesdays of each month; register for each session individually
Member cost is $8 per child, per session and a nonmember cost of $12 per session, per child.
Play in Clay: Holiday Gift-making Workshop
Let’s make ornaments, angels, cookie plates and more as we prepare for the holiday season! Give as gifts or keep to decorate your own home! Each person makes 3-4 items. This class is for kids ages 6-up; children under 10 MUST be accompanied by an adult. Class is held November 16, from 10:00am to 1:00pm with pricing at: $60 individual; $65 pair member rate and a nonmember cost of $70 individual; $75 pair. All materials are provided, the instructor is Sarah Houde.
Home School Workshop: Picasso-Inspired Wood Sculptures
This class is offered November 19, from 10:00am to Noon and a member cost of $10; $5 for each sibling, and a nonmember cost of $14; $5 for each sibling. Join instructor Joanne Paskoff in the artLAB as we use recycled materials to explore various artists, cultures, styles, periods, and techniques! Homeschool workshops are lightly led and include supplemental take-home information to help continue study on each topic. Recommended ages for this are 7-12, but projects can be as simple or advanced as student wishes. Parents are asked to stay on-site, and even in the classroom for students younger than age 7. Advance registration required. Please, no walk-ins.
Art + Story Sessions, November
This class is geared for children ages 4 to 6 years old. It runs from 10:00am to 11:30am on November 20 and is held the first and third Wednesdays of each month; register for each session individually. The member cost is $8 per child, per session, and a nonmember cost of $12 per child, per session. The instructor for the class is Joanne Paskoff. Designed for preschoolers, these hour-long story times teach basic art elements, art styles, and even a little art history with wonderful children’s books, imaginative games, and inventive art projects. Each student comes away with a matted artwork and greater appreciation of all things artistic! Sign up for one class or all of them—Hurry! Space is limited.