Sunday, June 12, 2022

The Hum of the Human Engine that Keeps BWAC Ticking

This is my love letter to BWAC. I left BWAC Saturday afternoon awestruck again by the dedication of so many people who keep the organization not just running but thriving. The sheer size of the gallery and the number of exhibits on view simultaneously is quite amazing. But let me start at the beginning. Three years ago I met Alicia Degener soon after moving to Brooklyn from Virginia. She introduced me to BWAC and encouraged me to participate. I jumped in.

As a new member I am still learning the ropes and making connections with other artists. As a member of the Board of Directors I have gotten acquainted with my fellow board members. I recently reached out to Renee Radenberg and Sandy Forrest and had lovely visits with both. As a result of our time together, Sandy was kind enough to offer to come pick me up in Bay Ridge and help me get artwork to BWAC for both the Makers Market and the members show, Portals.

Benefits of the BWAC Experience: interacting with kind, talented artists who go out of their way to be supportive


Ann G Corbett, Gardner's Eden, acrylic and marker on canvas. Juried exhibit: Elements.

When I arrived at BWAC on Saturday, I brought in my work for the Market to set up my table and then head upstairs to hang 4 collages in the member's exhibit, Portals. While I was doing those two things, Terry Urban and Sandy Forrest were in the main gallery downstairs accepting work for Wide Open 12, the juried exhibit they are co-curating. Sandy has helped me appreciate the amount of time and dedication curators put into a show. Attention to detail and communication skills are essential, then there’s all the running around in the gallery itself hanging artwork, etc. Tamavis, Arden and Renee Radenberg (co-curator of Elements) were also on the first floor on Saturday getting The Elements show down, packing up the shipped artwork, and having the artists pick up so Wide Open can be placed on the walls. These artists are all making amazing contributions to the organization. Read on, there are many others who keep BWAC humming.

To be clear, all exhibiting members work but some much more than others.

Benefits of the BWAC Experience: the juried shows attract national and international artists and help support the gallery with entry fees. In addition they get the word out to artists and collectors about what we do at BWAC and attract new members. All of this elevates our status as member/exhibiting artists.


My work in the Makers Market at BWAC. Collages and coloring books.

I really appreciate the opportunity BWAC provides me (and all members) to share my work in the gallery, the Market and on Artsy. I was pleased that one of my collages in the Ukraine benefit show sold on Artsy. I have a tendency to focus on making not selling my work. BWAC makes it easier to me to share and potentially sell my work in the members show with no additional fees.

The members' exhibits would not be possible without the contribution of innumerable volunteer hours by members that make it all work. A special shout out to Joe Banish, Faith, Arden and others working on Saturday whose names I regrettably don’t know. I have never been to BWAC when Jessica Schulman wasn’t at a computer keeping the data stream flowing and setting up volunteer schedules.  Not to forget our admin, Pat Dignan. A very special thanks to all of them and the other unnamed worker bees.

Benefits of the BWAC Experience: share and potentially sell my artwork instead of having it pile up in my studio!


Cynthia Ruse

After 3 hours of set up and hanging on Saturday, I was ready to make a break for it. Frankly, I was tired and ready to get outside. However, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see other members' work. I wandered around a little bit on my way out of the gallery to head home. Then I saw Cynthia Ruse’s work as she was hanging it in the members show. I stopped dead in my tracks. 


Cynthia Ruse, Matchbooks, ink, pencil, collage and flame

I introduced myself and learned a little bit more about her and her work. Incredibly she paints on matchbooks, not exclusively of course. I saw the work and didn’t even see the matches until I was told what the pieces were painted on. After that I couldn't not see the matches. We had a delightful, short conversation and her work opened up whole new ways of seeing, thinking and working.

Benefits of the BWAC Experience: meet new artists whose work expands my vision

 BWAC is truly artists helping artists. If you aren’t a member, why not? Join us. We have members all over the country.

Join us on Saturday, June 18th from 1 - 6pm
for the opening of our new exhibitions and start reaping the benefits of BWAC. This is what you’ll see:

• Wide Open 12: a national juried exhibition
• They/He/She: LGBTQ+ fundraising exhibition coinciding with Pride Month
• Portals, BWAC member exhibition
• Dreams Beyond Reason: a solo exhibition by Emily Legleitner
ยช Good Neighbors Park Slope: an exhibition by members of an aging in place community


 Have a good idea for a blog post? Let me know. Kristin Reiber Harris,

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