Art Over Macleay Park

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The semi-annual show known as Art Over Macleay Park began in 2006,
founded by Ceramic sculptor Elisabeth Cook Sullivan (that's me!) and Glass Blower Diane Ahrendt
After working together in art shows and being on boards together,
we had strong opinions about how shows should be done!
We decided to do our own show so we could do it our way!
We debated about where to have the show
-- at my more urban location on the hill overlooking Macleay park
or Diane's more spacious suburban location. 
Diane won the debate--the show is at my place, and we named it for the location. 
We recruited 3 more artists, painter Virginia Leonnig, Bead and jewelry maker Sharon Nyberg, and wearable art designer Judee Moonbeam
This was our core artist group for the next three years.
We organized as a pure democracy, equally sharing the work and the costs.

And the show was born. 

Our first show was on a Saturday in December 2006. 
For 2007 we expanded to a two-day format, with the same group of artists. 
In 2008, we added Roberta Palmer, aka Robin, aka The Leaf Lady, to be in our show.
We also had a silent auction to benefit the Forest Park Conservancy that year.
In 2009 Virginia moved to the beach and Sharon decided to drop out.  We hated to lose them,
but it did inspire a real growth spurt. 
Over the years we've made some changes. 
We've shifted from being a pure democracy in our organization to a more traditional model. 
Now we function more like a benevolent dictatorship with me at the helm
and my trusty lieutenants Diane, Jude and Robin helping and advising.
We also have a more fluid list of participating artists from show to show.
We had our first Spring show in 2009, and brought in several guest artists,
most of whom have been in subsequent shows. 
We also had a memorial showing for Liz's parents, Velda and Allen Cook,
both of whom were artists. Allen passed away in 2005 and Velda followed him in April 2009, just a month before AOMP09S.

December 2009 brought our first male artist to the show, photographer Patrick Smith,
and what started out as an all girls show is now gender neutral!

As our reputation has grown, we've had many artists express interest in participating,
so we've expanded from simply "recruiting" to accepting applications. 
We process all the new participants through an informal jury.
We've had over 60 artists participate in the AOMP shows now. SOme are regulars,  others do the show every now and then.
Most have a page on this site--all if I am up to date!  You can reach them via the artists page.
After having had various sized shows,
we've come to what we feel is a good balance of what is best for the artists and what works best for the customers.
We now try to keep to a max of 18 artists in the winter and 20 in the spring, when we can use the garden space.  We also try to have at least two new artists in each show. 
Producing AOMP all these years has been a lot of fun, a learning experience,
and well worth all the work it has taken.  
Most of the artists seem to pitch in and help in some way.
Everyone does what they can.
Many of us have become close friends. 
The AOMP group has become something of a family,
one I treasure with all my heart.

Thanks for reading.

Liz Sullivan