The Village News Columns: People

Chris Taylor

Adventures in Art
by Chris Taylor

We asked Chris Taylor of the SBAA (South Bay Art Association), to write a column for about herself, her art background and her art itself, as well as how she got started. Get ready for some "Adventures In Art!"




Galleries need artists and artists need galleries, it’s as simple as that.

Actually, it used to be that simple. Nowadays, we have the INTERNET. For most artists who want to sell their work, a gallery is needed.

gallery |'galərē|
noun ( pl. -leries)
1. a room or building for the display or sale of works of art.
• a collection of pictures.

This is where the art is for people to see and is usually a place to BUY artwork. Galleries are not limited or regulated in any way other than under the legal statutes of each state regarding sales tax and consumer laws. There are also many types of galleries: vanity galleries, cooperative galleries, commercial galleries, to name just a few. They all have different types of operations which vary as widely as the types of art you may see in any of them.

New York City boasts over 600 galleries, according to one internet source. Brick-and-mortar galleries are the traditional means of viewing artwork, but there is now competition from Online Galleries. There are probably thousands of online galleries and as anyone who shops online knows, the buyer must beware! One reason I don’t belong to an online gallery is that you simply cannot get a feel for artwork by looking at it on a computer screen. While I do post my artwork on my own website, and sometimes on Facebook, I include a statement explaining where the work can, and should, be seen in person. So when I say, “Support your local gallery,” that’s what I mean!

Now, for artists who are thinking of showing their work for the first time, there are a lot of things to consider. For instance, WHERE should I show my work?

Selecting a gallery can be intimidating! Having a gallery select YOU can be wonderful, depending on who the gallerist is. Both the artist and the gallerist need to realize that they need each other and should work cooperatively so both can have the best possible outcome from the experience. The old “Stable of Artists” idea is cliché and out of date. It implies artists work for galleries, when in fact, it is a mutual dependency.

Galleries want to have control over the artists they represent, some insist on being the exclusive representative for the artist, which I totally disagree with. It’s unfair to the artist. I feel that unless a Gallery can guarantee a certain income from their exclusive representation, it shouldn’t be considered by an artist. An artist has to make a living, and being held to an exclusive contract with any one gallery limits the artist’s chances of developing a career.

If you are thinking of going into a gallery for your first time, go out and do the research. Visit the gallery, check out the town, the hours, look at the building, try to find their advertisements, go to a reception and talk to the artists who show there… talk to the gallerists or sitters, find out what their contract states and then make your decision.

A great place to find info on the Gallery system is a book called How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist (without selling your soul) by Carol Michels. My other resource is “I’d rather be in the Studio” by Alyson Stanfield. I’ve learned a lot from these two successful authors and I urge you to do your homework if you’re looking for a gallery in which to show your work. Since the recent economic downturn has caused a lot of galleries to close their doors, extra caution is needed when looking for a gallery. A recent 60 Minutes episode even spoke of art as investment and an upturn for that segment of the economy.



The Next Step

You’ve contemplated a subject, perhaps set line and color to paper or canvas….. you’ve worked on it and tweaked it… you’ve shown your friends and family, now what? You may seek validation for your work and there are a few places to find it.

It may be time for an Exhibit! Put your work on display for the public to see. This is the scary part, for most artists. It’s a giant leap out into the world. For some, having the work critiqued is only a recreational activity, and for others it is serious business. Many artists find it difficult to critique their own work, and after asking friends and family their thoughts, decide to ask one or more of their peers. This can by done through a local art group that may offer a critique night, or it may be done by putting the piece into an exhibit, maybe even a juried exhibit. Invite fellow artists to the exhibit and then hear what they have to say. If it’s a juried exhibit, the opinion of the judge is reflected in the placement of ribbons. But don’t let that intimidate you! One never knows what lies in the mind of the judge! Decide what you want from your career in art: Ribbons? Critiques of well-known art writers? Press? Sales? For many artists, it’s a mixture of all of the above.

So how do you go about your first exhibit? You may decide to find your own venue and do it all yourself, from press to sales… which is fine. Or you may enter into a cooperative gallery, where you “rent” wall space to show your work in a real brick-and-mortar gallery. You may go into NYC to find a gallery there. You may discover an online gallery that will host your work, usually for a fee. You may post it on Facebook, and create your own page there, and then send your friends to have a look.

You are limited only by your imagination but there are dangers in all of those possibilities. Unscrupulous gallery owners, online image snatchers, or even lack of attention by the press and the public. Be aware of varying and exorbitant commission rates, hidden fees for publicity, dubious “exclusive” contracts….Getting off on the wrong foot can cause you to have to backtrack later, which can be a lot of work. Do some research - there are loads of books out there on the subject of the art business and how to promote yourself. The subject is far too broad to address in an essay of this size but resources are available at your local Library as well as your local art associations, and online of course. In between all that, keep creating! Learn from experience, trial and error, talk to fellow artists, keep that mind busy with ideas and just don’t stop!

Above all, have fun!



Beyond the Drawing

I’ve already talked about the importance of a good drawing to the success of a painting. Now let’s briefly touch upon some other things we need to be aware of.

Your overall design choice could make or break your painting; you have to decide what to put in, and what to leave out. If you are doing a still life or a landscape, you have to decide upon your focal point, which is the center of interest. You want to draw the viewer to that place in your painting, and there are a few ways to do that. Design elements are important, and since there are millions of words already available on the subject, I won’t go into detail here. Suffice to say, this is your sales pitch. Get the viewer’s attention, have them go into the painting, and stay there, moving around within it, to where you decide is the most important area of the painting. Have the overall effect be pleasing to the viewer so that they may come back to it again and again, and be satisfied each time.

Color and Contrast:
How you use your palette, which is your own personal choice of colors, is very important. Some artists only use the 3 primary colors to create their work, which gives a very fresh feeling to the painting. Others limit their palette to 5 or 7 colors and mix the rest out of those 5 or 7. With only a few colors, there is a continuity that brings it all together cohesively. Too many colors make a disjointed painting, distracting the viewer. You also need to develop areas of contrast, because if the values are too similar, there will be no excitement in the piece. Contrast also defines the spaces within the piece, the perspective. Shadows give depth and shape to objects, telling our brains how to interpret sizes and spatial relationships. Again, millions of words out there on this subject, but these three C’s will get you started in the right direction. In the end, you’ve got to try things, and learn from the things that don’t work. Try to figure out what you don’t like about a piece… maybe even take it to a critique and have others give their input. It’s scary, but it’s a great way to learn.

Go ahead and experiment! Have fun with it! Remember these three C’s are Composition, Color and Contrast.



A Good Foundation is Important

Ever look at an art exhibit and not understand it or not get anything out of it? It could be because of a poor drawing or design. I’m going to talk about drawing for a moment. In designing a successful painting, drawing is important. I’m not talking about the more abstract work here, but the more representational, realistic work: portrait, landscape, and still life.

A simple, well done drawing is a thing of beauty and a work of art. That is the purest form of line: The paper, and the line, and the viewer. Then we get more technical, if you will, and add... maybe more lines, and COLOR. Then, we go further and add gradations of color, and make shapes out of them. We add shadows. We add contrast. Soon we have a recognizable something going on there--- or not! If not, it may be because the underlying drawing is off somehow. If you have a bad drawing, very often it cannot be corrected by the addition of paint over it. If you build a house, and the beams and supports aren’t true to square, you will always have a crooked house. In Painting, a similar situation can occur, so pay attention to perspective, and spacial relationships.

People say ”I cant draw a stick figure” — yes they can, but probably don’t want to. Various reasons, but if they set their mind to it and practiced it and really really got into it... they could do it. People aren’t born with the skills or knowledge to fly airplanes, cook gourmet meals, invent fantastic machines or design tall buildings- they learn how to do it, because for some reason they become interested in the subject and they spend time studying the subject. It’s the same with drawing. Practice makes perfect or, perfect practice makes perfect, if that’s what you want to do. Start with basic shapes- everything can be broken down into basic shapes.

So my advice to you is, take a class! Or get a book from the Library and practice. Go online, there are lots of art sites out there that offer lessons, both free and otherwise. Visit artists’ websites too, because many of them also teach classes. Learn the basics and then explore your creativity. You don’t have to show anyone if you don’t want to, it can be for your own sense of accomplishment, your own enjoyment, your own stress relief. Just do it. You nay be surprised at what you can do!



Prequel: The Creative Process

So, where do you start? What is motivating you to create something in the first place? Have you seen something very colorful that grabbed your eye? Perhaps a large piece of marble has stared you down... And haunted you? A lovely geometric patchwork quilt that you cuddled under... upon closer inspection revealed- a work of art! A pattern, or the play of light on surface... Your imagination has been piqued... and you want to... sculpt it, draw it... paint it... stitch it, mold it... throw it... press it, print it... glue it... dye it, paste it, nail it, you’ve got the bug!

Now, how do you translate that idea into something... something more tangible so you can share it with someone else?

You can describe it... sort of. But, most likely, you are going to try to draw it. Drawing is very important to an artist and it’s a skill we all need to have. I know folks who say, “oh I can’t draw a stick figure.” That’s ok.

What they mean is, they can, but they choose not to. I can’t play an instrument or weld, or fix a car... well, maybe I could, but I choose not to. It’s all about what we are interested in, and how we choose to spend our precious time. We spend our time with what we enjoy- for artists, it’s all about the visual. Our imagination has many dimensions, so we usually DRAW something to explain our ideas.

I feel that drawing skills are very important. I’ve learned that very often if my initial drawing is off, the painting won’t work, no matter how I try to fix it. Seems simple enough, to try to fix it. But I feel that all the errors and the frustrations show thru somehow in the work. The energy that flows through my hands, can be seen in the work, for better or for worse...

Try to make sure your initial drawing is a good one. Check the perspective, the proportions, and the composition. Values and colors will fill it out and define the details. Don’t forget the focal point! What’s your point of interest?

And get back to the basics, what moves you? Color? Form? Contrast? What inspired you in the first place? Can you describe it in one line? 2 lines? A few hash marks for shadow to denote form... Darker ones and lighter ones create the contours and shadows... TRY IT!

I love those black and white sketches! Simple drawings, graphite maybe... or Charcoal. Hmm... charcoal, one of the oldest mediums- love to get my hands all dirty with it. Hold on! I’ve got to go draw something!!!! Catch you later!



The Creative Process


Ok, so you’ve been painting for a while. You have a few things done, and they look OK. What now? Should you... Should you show someone???? Are you ready? If you are ready to ask the question, are you also ready to hear the answer (and it may not be what you want to hear)?

They say that you are “done” with a piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, whatever it may be) when you are ready to share it with someone. That someone is usually a spouse, friend or mentor… someone who shares some part of your life, someone you trust and feel comfortable with. But, in reality, you are by no means “done,” you are ready for a critique.

This is part of the process. You create, critique and present,
again and again, until you are satisfied. We artists need validation, we are the same as everybody else. … so we create, critique, present, and start over,…. When we are finally satisfied with our end result, we frame. Then it’s done!

I remember when I first started doing watercolor. I had done a little step-by-step painting from a how-to book and I wasn’t really thrilled with it. I had been working over at my cousin’s house. Once a week we’d get together and encourage each other, practice, paint, critique….

I had left this piece at her house and, as I said, I wasn’t really happy with it. About a week later she gave me a gift all wrapped up with a bow. I had no idea what it was… it wasn’t a special occasion. Well, I was blown away when I unwrapped my painting. It was nicely framed and I had to say WOW! The frame really made it stand out... It made it “pop” and I was validated as an artist. That piece hangs in my living room to this day, and every time I look at it I think about those early days, and how far I’ve come as an artist. I remember how she had faith in me, and encouraged me by framing that little watercolor for me.

The journey! It’s as important as the end result! Along the way the questions, critiques, and the presentations, along with the validations from friends, family, mentors, teachers, and collectors, are all exciting and important parts of the creative process.



Art to You

What is Art….. to You?

Realizing the question, “What is Art,” is too much to address in one tiny essay, I am expanding the search for answers. Sometimes the journey is more meaningful than the answers.

What I am trying to do is bring “ART” to a level that everyone can enjoy and not be intimidated by it. Anyone can appreciate art, music, poetry, or great literature… and should!

So, what kind of art do you like? Realistic? Portraiture? Abstract? Still Life? Representational? (Add your own adjective here.) And then, what medium do you enjoy most? Pastel? Photography? Oil? Collage? Watercolor? Drawing? Again, the list goes on.

Each person has their own favorite. What’s great about Art is that there is no right or wrong. There may be quality issues, (quality of materials, quality of execution, quality of presentation)….. but ultimately, it’s what YOU like. What moves YOU.

As an artist I can appreciate what it takes to create a piece of art. The process from conception through execution, the creation, the critique, the fine-tuning all have a role. Not to mention the presentation, which is to say, the perfect frame, or base if it’s a sculptural piece.

Not every piece is a success. We stand upon our failures to build our successes.
But, that process can be agonizing and frustrating. We have doubts, we “hit the wall,” we get stuck, get blocked, maybe take a break. Before long we get that urge again, get inspiration from somewhere, and before we know it we are at it again… those creative juices get going.

So take all these factors into account when you look at a piece of art you don’t understand or don’t really like. Give it a second chance and see if you can get some feeling from it, see if you connect with it, see if you can figure out what the artist was trying to accomplish with the piece. After some serious contemplation, it may grow on you. Or not! Some pieces just jump off the wall at you, they scream at you and you notice them right away. You’ve connected on some level… something the artist has put into that piece has connected with you.

Let’s go back to that Rembrandt I wrote about last time….. and how I connected with it. I have no idea why that particular piece had that effect on me. Its a very large, very dark painting. The figure seems to me to have a kind face, a gentle nature. But the lighting in the piece is what attracted me at first. I wonder now what the artist was thinking or feeling when he painted it. What was going on in his universe at the time? What materials did he use? I keep going back to that painting, in my mind. See how powerful it is? The connection is still there, even though the painting is 250 miles away. In my mind I can see it, and feel it.

It gives me chills every time I think about it- that’s Great Art! (to me).




What is Art?

In my journey as a developing artist, I often find myself asking this question and having it asked of me. Art is many things….. a subjective matter, I believe.

Many folks are baffled by the art they look at, because they don’t “understand” it, they “don’t get it” and so, they feel intimidated by art. Others cannot connect because they “can’t even draw a stick figure.” I feel a really good piece of art will keep you coming back. It grabs you the first time you see it, you may not understand why, but you keep coming back to it. You may enjoy looking at it over and over again, you may enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out what it is that keeps you coming back… it may remind you of some faraway place, some place you have never been, except in your mind or in a dream, or some fond memory. It may elicit a response in you for some unknown reason but the important thing is, you connect to it in some way, on some level.

I remember the first time I was really grabbed like that, really moved. I was upstate at the Hyde Museum in Glens Falls, near Lake George. I had been to the Hyde many times, and this particular time there wasn’t anything really “Big” going on at the museum, I just happened to be there. Being familiar with the layout, I wandered around a bit. I love big old houses and enjoy trying to imagine what it may have been like to live in one of those mansions back in the day….

RembrandtI wandered into the Library, a warm but dark and cozy room on the first floor off a nice little courtyard. I passed by a large painting without really looking at it, and continued around the room. Something made me turn around and look at that painting again. It was really huge, in a huge antique gold frame, it had to be about, 4 or 5 feet tall? Impressive size. It was a dark painting of a man, and my first thought was, that the lighting in the painting was really well done. I did not recognize the image or the artist…. So I continued around the room. Making a full circle I again came to this corner of the room. Again I looked at the painting, the subject was a man… very dark background... very soft features. Now, I decided I had to know what I was looking at. I looked at the nametag…. The date was 1650 -something…. that piqued my interest. Hmmm I thought, who painted this?

Well, it was a Rembrandt, and I stopped a minute to look at the painting again. I felt a rush come over me, something, I don’t know what…. But I felt a presence or maybe that I was IN a presence… of something larger…… I breathed in the moment and stared at the Portrait. Wow. It was a moment I will never forget, that feeling, that sense of awe. Take a deep breath---- I feel it every time I go back to the Hyde. Above photo courtesy of The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, New York.



An Introduction

Chris TaylorThis is the first of occasional articles on (my) life as an artist.

How did I ever get myself into this?

Well, it's fun, for one thing. Always a doodler. I listened to people tell me I had some talent. (yeah, right!)

Maybe I do, maybe not. I gave it a shot.

A friend of mine asked me to "sit" for a local sketch group, which meant sitting still for twenty minutes, a five minute break, and another 20 minutes of sitting until two hours had passed and they had a chance to capture my likeness. The first time I did that, it was a little spooky. I wasn¹t used to people looking at me so closely studying my face, my eyes, my hair. Soon after, this same friend suggested I join the group, but sit on the other side of the easel... and I did. A friendly bunch of folks, I immediately felt at home.

Chris TaylorThe regular practice helped me improve my "eye" and it was great to socialize with other, more accomplished, artists. I really began to enjoy it. I learned, and grew as an artist.

So I joined the South Bay Art Association and immediately I got involved. I was welcomed with open arms and I learned all about the organization and how it operated. I took part in as many events as I could and volunteered my time and talent to further the cause. I went out “en plein air” and painted the local scenery and tried my hand at portraiture. I was mentored by a famous artist and I taught myself how to do Batik.

I gave lectures and demos on Batik and built my resume. I was interviewed by newspapers and got on the internet. I built a website and caught the attention of the company that produces the Batik dyes I use and I am now on their website.

I became a managing partner of a local art gallery and the education continued. I joined various other art groups in the area, but my heart belongs to South Bay. And now, I am President! Wow. I¹ve come a long way, Baby!

Chris TaylorSo there are many challenges artists face today. I have seen it from many angles and I have heard it from all my artist friends, but the underlying sentiment is, creativity is fun. Energizing artists need to be around other artists where the synergy creates a whole new experience. The art grows from there and takes on a life of its own. Culturally, art is absolutely necessary. Art, music, poetry, dance, all interrelated, creative outlets--Expressions of everyday life.

I wouldn¹t give it up. I¹m not starving, but I¹m not rich either. Tell you what though, I am happy.




Click here to send us a comment.



10/16/2011, Lorraine Fosmire wrote...

Chris Taylor is super talented and a really sweet person, too! Her comments about art are very insightful.



10/28/2010, Christina Stow wrote...

Chris Taylor is super talented and a really sweet person, too! Her comments about art are very insightful.



9/12/2010, Chris Taylor wrote...

I just re-read my own essay on "What is Art" about the Rembrandt I first saw at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls NY..... and I have to say, every time I read that essay it takes me back to that moment, and I feel a chill when I remember how that painting made me feel.

I've been back since then, to visit "the Pride of the Hyde" as they like to call it, and its just.... amazing! I hope everyone can find a painting that makes them feel that way.



2/8/2010, Julianna Kirk wrote...

I think it is a very inspiring commentary, indeed, to have someone write such a positive and "user friendly" perspective on drawing and getting started in making art. Chris makes the process playful and simple. It truly is the way to approach art so it does not seem so daunting to the untrained. Tapping into our right hemisphere is complementary to using our left hemisphere most of the time in our daily living. I think it makes our brain use fuller and richer. Thanks Chris for your perspective!



2/8/2010, Lorraine Rimmelin wrote...

You describe the necessary steps it takes to develop an eye for drawing. Most people think artists are so lucky they can draw or paint, not realizing the many workshops we attend honing our skills.



2/8/2010, Dawn Habner wrote...

Most enjoyable article! Your love of art and making art is very evident. You have beautifully conveyed the joy it is possible to find when one is involved in the act of creating.



2/8/2010, Norman Hansen wrote...

Chris - I am very proud of you and your father is too! You've become an amazing talent and a very gifted woman.



2/8/2010, Vinny and Cathy Susinno wrote...

Chris, you show the true heart of an Artist. You give art the respect it is due, it is not just a splash of paint on canvas. It is thought out and skillfully completed. Your explanation of each subject in your articles is fine, interesting and inspirational. We thank you and we miss you.



2/8/2010, Pat D'Aversa wrote...

Chris, great wrote an inspiring article. Even makes me, a person who can't seem to draw even "stick figures, want to at least try.



10/25/2009, Ruth Johnson wrote...

Chris - You are not only a wonderful creative artist, but also an inspirational, interesting writer encouraging everyone you know. Thank you!



10/20/2009, Joseph Knight wrote...

I enjoyed the column by Chris Taylor, I have known her for years. I have always enjoyed looking at her art work over the years, and they only get better and better.



10/19/2009, Rosamaria Eisler wrote...

Chris, it's great to know you, and read your art appreciation in Adventures of Art. I found a quote about drawing that I'd like to share: "..I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle.." Frederick Franck (b.1909) Art writer, "The Zen of seeing." Can't wait to see your next article. Thanks Chris!



10/19/2009, Colleen Knee wrote...

Great article!!!! Great artist!!!! Love it!!!!



10/19/2009, Rita Swanteson wrote...

Chris, Great to read your insights into the art world, which all of us in the arts can identify with. It's always a joy to view your paintings and now your words. Your friendship, your paintings and now your writings make me happy too. Looking forward to reading more of your insights.



10/18/2009, Wanda Boland wrote...
Chris has explained, in simple terms, what makes an artist "click" and made for nice reading. Now maybe some stories with art will be forthcoming!? Your talents are astounding, please keep up the good work!



10/18/2009, Lorraine Rimmelin wrote...
I have had the pleasure of painting plein air besides Chris during the summer of 2009. She inspires me with her enormous talents in her ability to capture the essence of the moment in her oil paintings through her use of shape and colors. I wish her the best and hope to continue our painting friendship.



10/18/2009, Melodie Linekin wrote...
What inspiring articles. Chris, you made me want to create something - anything - right now. Your written communication skills are as pleasing as your other talents. Thanks for the lift and keep creating.



10/18/2009, Vincent Riela wrote...
Chris Taylor does a wonderful job explaining art and her thoughts in this article. I have been a friend of Chris's for many years and the enthusiasm and dedication that she puts into her work is inspiring. I hope that she will continue to create wonderful pieces of work and write about art which she so enjoys.



10/18/2009, Gerard Cormier wrote...
Having had the opportunity and pleasure of painting with Chris, I can attest to her enthusiasm and dedication to her art. Even though I was busy doing my own creation, I remember her delight in plunging in and begin to interpret the scene we were attempting to interpret. She always spurred me on attempt another and another plein air. Thanks, Chris.



10/18/2009, Terence McManus wrote...
The articles by Chris are so well written. As an artist I an relate to so much of what she says. And after reading these articles, I believe that someone who doesn't paint will have a much better appreciation of what goes into producing a work of art.



10/18/2009, Phyllis Potts wrote...
As usual, Chris, you've given a comment which I find easy to understand. You highlighted important points to consider. Thanks!



10/18/2009, Eleanor Duncker wrote...
Wonderful! So well said. Every artist can identify with the feelings expressed.



7/31/2009, Laurie Fosmire wrote...
Again, Chris has written another fine art column. She is absolutely amazing, such talent in so many ways and mediums. I am privileged to call her my friend. I must reread it all again, slowly, in order to learn from her writings. I too feel that associating with so many fine artists of the SBAA has been an education leading to a fine appreciation of all the 'ARTS.'



7/29/2009, Phyllis Potts wrote...
Chris, As usual, you explained the thoughts going through the mind of a beginning artist. As someone who has known you so long, I must say I've always been sure you'd succeed not only because of your talent but your persistence and interest. Do hope you continue to progress. You've been an inspiration.



5/30/2009, Gerard Cormier wrote...
Glad to be one of Chris Taylor's friends. She's the essence of a good friend, gentle, caring, faithful. She has blossomed into a very prolific and gifted artist. Some of us seem to be artists by avocation, whereas Chris is one by vocation. Art is at the top of her priority list. We wish her a long and notable career.



5/3/2009, Christina Stow wrote...
Chris Taylor is a very special woman and artist. She is really overly modest --- of course, she has talent!! She is also a very generous, caring, warm, supportive, positive, loving person. We are very fortunate to have her in our area!!



4/30/2009, Pamela Lerner wrote...
Chris is very talented. I would love to have her teach a class, as so few people have her skills and do Batik work. Chris, any chance of a workshop on the art of Batik work? Good luck, Chris.



4/27/2009, Donna Gaspari wrote...
I am HONORED to know this phenomenal young woman! Chris is not only a former student of mine, but also a very talented and unique individual who has proven every day to be one who "marches to the beat of a different drum." I love to see her AND her work. Keep it all coming!



4/16/2009, Phyllis Potts wrote...
I've known and admired Chris Taylor ALL of her life. She's a talented artist, a marvelous friend and seems to have unlimited energy. The South Bay Art Assn. is fortunate to have her as president.