TVAA’s first two years
The Treasure Valley Artists Alliance (TVAA) was formed in 2010 as a result of many conversations between artists in search of an organization to address their needs. Melissa Chambers, a local visual artist, worked with Terri Schorzman, Director of the City of Boise Department of Arts and History, and Michelle Coleman, of the Idaho Commission for the Arts, to create facilitated conversations among local visual artists to get their ideas. From those Culture Cafe events in late 2009 momentum quickly increased and a fledgling group began to hold monthly meetings. Core goals identified by the participants included assistance, education, exhibitions, collaboration and connection between artists, along with the need for more community. The first elections of board members took place in February 2010, a name was voted on and adopted, and monthly meetings were scheduled.
Participation in the meetings averaged around 20-30 artists. Benefits and dues were established in March of 2010 and TVAA membership climbed from 23 in April 2010 to 108 in April 2011. Events were held to bring artists together, including social mingles, coffee klatsches, artists’ open studios, and even a picnic in the park. General meetings changed from monthly to every other month in 2011 and they became focused on education for artists.
TVAA’s first annual exhibit, entitled Foray, opened in the spring of 2011 and drew in over 500 viewers during the course of the show at the offices of Boise State Public Radio. Over 45 local artists were represented and many received exposure in the Treasure Valley for the very first time.
Collaborations between artists included a booth at Tour de Fat which pulled in members of the public to help with a communal mural of a bicycle, to “art walls” at the Modern Art event in downtown Boise in 2010 and again in 2011. Relationships between TVAA and other organizations were forged, including the City of Boise Arts and History Department, Idaho Commission for the Arts, Quality Arts in Garden City, Boise State Public Radio, the Capital City Market, the Brick Oven Bistro, Green Chutes, and VSA Arts.
Alongside these actual relationships and events, TVAA established a virtual presence on the internet with a website and a Facebook page. Both provided ways for local artists to promote their workshops and exhibits, along with a venue for displaying their work in an online gallery space that included hundreds of artworks by TVAA’s members. The website also provided free resources for artists to learn more about building their own websites, participating in local exhibition opportunities, identifying places to buy art supplies and services, as well as sharing information to protect them, like scam prevention and fraud alerts.
In the spring of 2011 the TVAA board of directors voted to take steps to become a non-profit organization. The board researched, debated and voted on bylaws. After deliberation, the board applied for and received approval from membership to create articles of incorporation.
The mission of the TVAA is to forge connections among visual artists in the Treasure Valley in order to create opportunities for creative collaboration, support, and community contribution. TVAA has established a record of maintaining this vision and actively pursuing it. The 2012 board was made up of hard working, active members — all visual artists — including Cate Brigden, Melissa Chambers, Mike Shipman, Bonnie Peacher, Penny Mackie, Pam McKnight (Secretary), Will Spearman (Treasurer) and Michael Chambers (President).
TVAA’s first two years focused on creating awareness in the artist community and on building membership.