VRA Midwest Fall Meeting

Chapter meetings are a great way to get involved and meet local professionals. Go here to find out which chapter of VRA (Visual Resources Association) operates in your area.

I attended my first VRA Midwest meeting on Friday, November 10th at the Cochrane-Woods Art Center at the University of Chicago. Gretchen Tuchel (University of Chicago) kindly welcomed the group and provided refreshments before the meeting began.

Dennis McGuire (Columbia College), current Midwest chapter president, began the meeting with introductions before moving on to the approval of Spring business meeting minutes and the treasurer’s report. A reminder announcement regarding the timing of the chapter’s Membership Drive was given – members will be prompted for dues in Dec/Jan to coincide with national dues.

Amy Fordham (University of Louisville) reported on the Educating the Educators workshop from the VRA Baltimore conference. She emphasized how useful the session was for her current work, and that she greatly appreciated the chapter’s support to attend. The session will be offered again at Kansas City in ’07.

At this point we discussed alternative uses for the Midwest travel award. SEI (Summer Educational Institute) was mentioned as being possibly appropriate since it is sponsored by VRA.

The Midwest Chapter will continue its support of the annual conference in ’07. Options for creative donation strategies to maximize contact with vendors were discussed by chapter members. The chapter members then discussed donation ideas for the annual VRA Raffle. The Midwest Chapter’s ’07 donation promises to be just as creative as past items . . .

Rebecca Moss (University of Minnesota) and Betha Whitlow (Washington University) apprised the chapter of the need for future volunteers for the Kansas City conference.

Matt Cook graciously offered to tour VRA Midwest members around the Illinois Institute of Technology facilities on Saturday, November 11th. Also, VRA members were also encouraged to drop in on the ARLIS Midstates copyright session on Saturday.

We discussed the recent election results and acknowledged the presence of Allan Kohl (Minneapolis College of Art and Design), VRA president elect. Sarah Carter (Indiana University) then took the opportunity to announce the creation of this blog; chapter members were enthusiastic about the project!

After the meeting was adjourned we crossed the courtyard to the Smart Museum for a lovely tour of the collection. Lunch was held at the University of Chicago School of Business – where, in my opinion, they have possibly the world’s best salad bar!

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