A View From The Top

A seemingly continuous flow of events and situations are moving through The Studio. 

From changing banks, phone systems, new board members and changing residents, there is a myriad array of decisions to make. Each choice could have a positive or negative effect on The Studio’s forward progress. I am so glad I have such a reliable group of advisors to guide this growing organization through exciting and sometimes challenging straits.

Listening to board members, residents, experts and friends, we find the best approach to each move we make to try to better serve you, the community, and how to expand that community. I often tell my students I am more a preacher than a teacher, and I relate well to the reverends, priests and rabbis who are in a similar yet more spiritual business.

We all are concerned with the welfare of our constituents, volunteerism and participation in our collective rituals — for them, church and religious studies. For us, coming to openings and taking advantage of the available activities such as darkroom, drawing, band nites and poetry. 

We press for support through tithing (membership) and kitty jars. We provide services through workshops, lectures and community participation. The communities are different between religious and artistic groups, but there is a gnawing need in the hearts of both communities to find unification, solace and redemption. 

I take what the Art Studio does seriously and I feel it can save lives and heal souls, give redemption and cause self realization.

It can change lives — especially mine. At one time, making pots was all I wanted to do and make it my life. What occurred was an opportunity to do something that took me away from my art but brought me closer to my community. I am so appreciative of all the people who guided this Studio and me through the years. I can only see a long future for The Studio and a continuing parade of great minds and kind hearts who will shape and direct this organization to be the best it can be and do all the things it can do. We hope you join this amazing journey.

Channel your Dionysian spirits and shake the dust off your togas because we are having a Bacchanal at the Beaux Arts Ball Jan. 20. Dress like a Roman party animal and bring your favorite wine glass. Eat, drink and, most surely, be merry while you simultaneously help out The Art Studio without really noticing. There will be a silent auction and good music, with some unexpected surprises you’ll just have to be there to see.

If you have art to offer for the auction, gifts from your businesses, eats from your restaurant or other tax-deductible gifts, we will recognize you and honor you and your company for your support and love.

We put on one big fundraiser a year so don’t miss it!

Like many individuals and businesses, it’s been a tough year with a lot of extra expenses. Because of our new addition it has been an especially tough go. If you can’t make it put on your best toga, pour yourself a glass of wine, put laurels in your hair and send a check. It will make your drink taste that much better.

Construction continues with American Construction Co. providing their skill and expertise as a donation to the studio in honor of my brother Carlo Busceme III.

Elizabeth Stark and Matt Pruett have taken on a big project for The Studio, and we are infinitely grateful for their help.

In the same vein, I would like to thank Rob Clark for taking on our ADA compliance requirements, using his extensive expertise in architecture to outline what we need, and getting the bids and plans for us to offer a chair lift to accommodate our patrons who can’t manage stairs. These accommodations are expensive but are necessary to meet the standards of ADA compliance and to open The Studio to differently abled people. 

We also are working on a ramp for the Barn through the Boy Scouts, but we are pressed to provide one before the play by the theater group Ad Hoc Beaumont. “The Lonesome West” is slated to open Dec. 1. 

These plans could not begin to happen except for the assistance of Lee Mann, who has generously taken on fundraising for The Studio through grants and patronage. This is a daunting task, as we have so many things that need repair or improvement to forward ourselves into the future and to assure our ability to continue to serve the community. We are preparing ourselves for a Community Development Block Grant that is due in  February. The last time we applied we received $45,000 for improvement of offices and break room some 25 years ago. I hope we have the same success if not better this year.

Keep in mind that art shows, band nites, drawing groups, darkroom friends, poetry Renaissance and, soon, art therapy, as well as new programming will be coming soon. With the help of Studio icon Gina Garcia and new board member Joana Hyatt, we will be offering a variety of classes in art and movement for adults and children. 

As Jimmy Durante would say, “You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!!”

By Greg Busceme, TASI founder