Jeff Smith, acting President of the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts talks with patrons during the closing reception for the Faculty/Student Art Show.

by Dave Warner

The Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts held a closing art reception for the Faculty/Student Art Show on Saturday afternoon. According to acting President of the group, Jeff Smith, “We do this show every year and it is one of the highlights of the season.”

Instructors at the center ask their students if they want to participate in the show. “Some will, some won’t,” said Smith. “All of the instructors then bring those students and their pieces in to be a part of this. It’s typically the last show of the year that we do.”

They did an opening reception six weeks ago and it was at night and during a snow storm. “We were kind of between a rock and a hard spot. The weather was so bad that we thought about canceling it, but we felt there would be a lot of people locally that would still come out to the show and brave the elements because they are close by,” he said.

However, for people that were further out, they didn’t get the chance to come in and meet the artists or participate in the opening reception. Smith said, “Because of the nature of the show, we thought why don’t we do a closing show because we haven’t done one of those before?”

Photo by Dave Warner - Visitors spend some time chatting and looking at the artwork during the Faculty/Student Art Show closing reception.

Photo by Dave Warner – Visitors spend some time chatting and looking at the artwork during the Faculty/Student Art Show closing reception.

The plan is to try and do earlier shows during the winter hours so that it is easier for people to come in and participate. “When it’s summer and the sun is out, it’s a perfect time for an evening event. Not during the winter,” he stated.

The MVCA has some plans for the new year, based on the fact that they’ve come to the end of their five-year strategic plan, which was generated in 2015. “We’re now in the process of going through that plan to see how we did and where do we go from here?”

The center feels that they’ve done well with fundraising, averting a near-disaster three years ago. Smith said, “With non-profits, you’re always on a roller coaster.”

Smith said that they are really looking forward to the program with the Glimmerglass Opera Festival out of Cooperstown. “That’s going to be in full swing this year. It took (MVCA Executive Director) Jane Malin two years to work with them to put the administrative and program side officially together.”

The art center is also going to move their classes back down to Canal Place this year instead of having them at remote locations.

The Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts’ winter hours are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from noon until 4 pm. For more information, you can visit http://www.mohawkvalleyarts.org/