Dear Members of the UMVA, 

I am proud and honored to be named the interim President of the Union of Maine Visual Artists. President Robert Shetterly‘s skilled leadership and excellence in the position has been a huge inspiration to me and my work within the UMVA. I hold this place temporarily until Rob wishes to retake the position, or until another interested party is voted in. I have been continuously inspired by the board members of the UMVA, and I am passionate about continuing to grow the UMVA across the state. My role over the last four years on the board has been to re-establish the Portland branch of the UMVA; and to establish a UMVA Gallery on Congress Street in Portland. With the help of many incredible artists and uncountable efforts those goals are well underway. One of the conditions under which I would accept the interim President role was for the board to consider my list of potential board members, all of whom have been crucial parts of the success of the Portland Chapter. I am excited to announce that Janice Moore, John Ripton and Gregg Harper  have been accepted and announced as new UMVA Board Members. In addition, artist David Estey, whose work proceeds him, has also been nominated to the board of the UMVA and I am very honored and excited to have him on the board as well. The current board members: Natasha Mayers (Vice President), Jackie Bennett (Treasurer), Richard Kane (Secretary), Mary Laury, and Cynthia Hyde, have all done incredible work for artists in this state. With the current board members combined with the four new ones, I am confident that the UMVA will continue to grow and thrive towards the goals of the mission statement: 

The UMVA mission is to uphold the dignity of artists and to support a vital contemporary Maine arts community. UMVA members value what can be achieved through collective efforts. The UMVA encourages the ideal of art as a spiritual and aesthetic communication beyond commerce.   

 Thank you for the opportunity.

William Hessian