The Galveston Art League is having growing pains.
This year the league, a nonprofit organization founded in 1914, took a leap of faith and purchased the 2119 Postoffice St. gallery adjacent to its original downtown Galveston site, 2117A Postoffice. (The Art League also has operated a gallery at 611 6th St. N. in Texas City since 2016.)
Pending a renovation, the league was using the recently acquired Galveston space only to hold its workshops (the schedule is posted on GalvestonArtLeague.com) and board meetings.
But no more.
The new-to-the-league space is under construction, and there’s now a large passageway between the two Galveston properties. Also during this renovation: Contractors will change the floor to waterproof vinyl planks. Heating, cooling, and lighting will be upgraded, too.
The expanded space will allow for a grander celebration during ArtWalks that occur from 6 to 9 p.m. every six weeks in Galveston. In addition to showing off more artwork ― always diverse and reasonably priced ― the league plans to have a small retail area. This shop-within-the-gallery will be dedicated to sales of logo items such as Art League T-shirts as well as art- and Galveston-related items including the hefty book The Galveston Art League: A Century of Island Art 1914-2014 written by Pat Jakobi and Nancy House
The galleries are crucial to the Galveston Art League’s mission of promoting visual arts through educational efforts and by supporting regional artists.
So how does the Art League carry out its mission?
Educationally, the league offers adult workshops ― most costing $25 to $60 ― on Saturdays throughout the year (details: GalvestonArtLeague.com). Topics include watercolor, oil painting, frame-making, pastels, colored pencil techniques, improving composition of 2-D artworks, collage, building and decorating Japanese Taiguruma folk-art carts, photography techniques, and more. The league offers camps and classes to children in various media including sculpting, tie-dye, and collage ― plus various types of painting and drawing.
In terms of raising the profiles of artists, league activities include three juried shows per year ― each with between about 75 and 130 entries ― at the Texas City and Galveston galleries. Both galleries host nine member shows per year; during these month-long shows, artists sell ready-to-hang paintings and ready-to-place 3-D works. The Galveston gallery, recently voted best art gallery in the Galveston County Daily News Readers’ Choice awards, also has two large jewelry cases with unique handmade necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and more. The league’s publicity efforts include ads, articles, and notices about artists and exhibits in local publications.
So how can you help the nonprofit Galveston Art League?
Its biggest fundraiser is an annual gala, an UN-stuffy evening of fun. The last one was Oct. 6, 2018, at the San Luis Hotel Grand Ballroom in Galveston. Buying tickets is the obvious option, but sponsorships of the gala are also offered. And the league’s board is always thrilled to receive tax-deductible contributions of items to auction at this event or cash gifts from folks who can’t attend but want to help with fundraising. The most recent gala honored four local music groups, and the 2017 gala toasted Galveston County public-school art teachers and gave them supplies to add to their students’ enrichment.
For information about supporting the next gala in any way ― even to just put your name on the mailing list for the next one ― contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other ways to help include contributing to the building fund and purchasing an Art League membership, starting at $35 per year for non-student adults and $10 for students. The league also needs volunteers to staff its galleries and serve on its board. The organization’s leaders appreciate tax-deductible contributions to its general and building funds, which can be given to honor someone ― perhaps during the holidays or on a birthday or anniversary. Or in lieu of gifts to you on a special occasion, you could request that your friends and family members contribute to the Galveston Art League.
To everyone who has helped in the past or is currently assisting the league financially and/or by giving your time: We shout out a huge THANK YOU. The Galveston Art League couldn’t survive without you.