The following is a letter to The Artist’s Magazine from Robert Lee Mejer, Distinguished Professor of Art, Quincy University. We’re happy to share it here, so that other art societies may be inspired by this project.
Dear Artist’s Magazine,
The Great River Watercolor Society of Quincy, Illinois was founded 22 years ago. As Charter President I initiated several ideas in order to sustain the society and keep members interested. In 1990 I proposed that each member paint a 2×2 watercolor for exchange at our annual membership meeting in January, rather than exchanging small purchased gifts. The following were the stated reasons:
- The painting would not be that time-consuming nor would it be costly.
- The challenge of working on a small scale would force the artist to get at the essence of what he/she was painting.
- It was a great way for the artist to start his/her own inexpensive art collection.
- To be able to share one’s talent with each other was the perfect gift.
The work was to be matted in white/off white, shrink wrapped, with its outside dimension being 9×9. This allowed for a half-inch around the image and a place to title and sign the watercolor. The pieces were then placed in numbered brown envelopes. A grab bag of numbers was passed around and artists were able to draw numbers. Everyone enjoyed the excitement of discovering whose piece they selected.
Robert Lee Mejer
Distinguished Professor of Art