- Clara Sue, BeymArt
A look back at 2020-2021
The end of 2021 marks my first full year of "retired" life after 25 years as a full-time graphic designer. Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, many things have changed. I am not longer working since May of 2020. The Pandemic has caused many changes for all of us. It has not been easy, but I find when the going gets tough, I stay busy. Creativity helps me get through the rough spots. This "free time" has given me the opportunity to work harder than ever at being creative and practicing my art. It has been a very productive and busy 18 months. My volunteer position on the Executive Board for Garden State Watercolor Society has kept me learning. At the end of 2020, I learned how to put together online virtual art exhibits and turn them into YouTube videos. I oversaw the launch of the GSWS new website. I have continued as the web editor to maintain their website. Within this group I have made close friends and have had the opportunity to participate in exhibits as well as successful art sales.
January of 2021 started out with my agreeing to help out Pine Shores Art Association with their new project – a guidebook filled with fine art and all things wonderful about the Jersey Shore – particularly Southern Ocean County. What started out as a "I'll help" volunteer stint, turned into a full-time volunteer position of book design. It was a great initiation into all things Pine Shores! I had been a member of this art group several years, but not very active. This book written by Suzi Hoffman, a fellow artist and writer, was in the writing stage as I was designing. It was a back-and-forth collaboration.
The many paintings were either submitted or painted to fit the subject. It took a book committee and the effort of many artists to bring together all the information and fine art in one marketable guide. My graphic design experience was put to the test – designing this book was pulled off in record time. I am proud of the result and glad to have had the experience with a group of talented fine artists. A new learning experience was also formatting the book to be on Amazon. Am I now ready to be a book designer? You can find the Guide to the Jersey Shore on Amazon. As a member of Pine Shores Arts, I have had the opportunity to exhibit at Pine Shores, both virtually and in-person. The organization also gave me the opportunity to exhibit in other venues in Souther Ocean County such as the municipal building in Beach Haven on LBI. I was thrilled to have a sold a painting at this venue this summer.
My membership at TRAC (Toms River Arts Council), has also given me the opportunity to be more involved. I have been part of monthly exhibits in the small gallery in the downtown shoppes in Toms River and in a few local spots in the area with the group. I currently volunteer in the gallery one afternoon a week. I am also a member of OCAG in Island Heights. My membership with West Windsor Arts Council is ongoing and I had the opportunity in a collaboration with GSWS executive board to show my art at West Windsors Arts Council's Whole World Gallery in Princeton Market Fair. I am pleased to have sold a painting at this exhibit.
This year and last gave me the opportunity to continue painting my Marsh Series, inspired by my neighborhood and the coastal views. These paintings have taken me the better part of 10 years to accumulate. I was pleased to be given the opportunity for a solo exhibit at the Berkeley Library during Dec- Jan 2022. This is my first solo exhibit it and it consists of 35 paintings of local scenes.
I named it Local Color. It was a goal I had worked toward for some time. The opening reception in early December was attended by my family and friends and I was honored by their support. The exhibit is also now on my YouTube channel.
I look forward to a creative 2022.