Art League has rich, varied history on island

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Art League has rich, varied history on island

Published Friday, February 22, 2013   |  267 Words  |  

Regarding the Feb. 2 story, "Art League names Gall as new director," I was surprised to read this statement from an Art League board member: "It's time to either grow the organization and make it more financially sound or ... shrink back to where the organization was about 35 years ago -- which was just a gang of artists who find a place to show their work every once in a while."

I do not know how long the board member has lived on Hilton Head Island, but I have lived here for 45 years and was involved with the Art League early on, serving on the board for many years. We had no paid director, only willing volunteers. Our varied and stimulating programs featured such names as Reuben Tam, whose paintings hang in museums all over America; Clement Conger, curator for the State Department and the White House; artist-illustrator Murray Tinkelman; and Richard Feigen, a highly regarded New York art dealer. A Toulouse-Lautrec poster exhibit drew a very large crowd.

There was a spirit of partnership with the community. The Sea Pines Co. was very helpful with providing accommodations for visiting speakers. The challenge was finding space for the events. The few hotels here at that time were usually booked for conventions but allowed us space when possible. Our membership grew to more than 800 members through the years. It is now 290. I trust this will alter any misconceptions about the league's early years.

Diann Wilkinson

Hilton Head Island