From the Director
Twelve years ago, upon returning to Houston after living abroad, I reengaged a conversation with my dear friend Benito Huerta, then-executive director of ARTL!ES, that has deeply affected both of our lives and, most fortunately and enjoyably, continues to do so. I volunteered to edit an upcoming issue of the journal in an attempt to rediscover the arts community that I had previously known. The community that I found and the commitment that I made to advocating for its exposure to a larger national and international audience has remained my focus since that time.
After four years of co-directing the organization, Benito and I were convinced that in order to further develop the journal, we had to professionalize the board of directors. Toni Beauchamp, known for helping to develop young arts organizations and boards of directors in particular, agreed to join the board. A year later, Benito transitioned to his current emeritus position.
In the six years that have followed, ArtLies’ annual budget has grown from less than $50,000 to the current $225,000. This year has been our most successful, as we have exceeded our revenue goals while keeping expenses within the budget. In its thirteen years of operation ArtLies, has never had an operating deficit. This has been possible through sound financial management and a committed, hard working staff and board. A strong foundation for the organization’s continued growth is firmly in place and ArtLies is poised to take the next step forward with many new opportunities on the horizon.
I am very proud of what we have accomplished. It takes a community to succeed in such an endeavor and I extend my gratitude to all who have contributed to and supported the organization through the years. I wish to thank the board of directors, the editorial advisory board, my staff, and the writers, editors and designers who have collectively contributed to building the journal and the organization. I thank all of the very generous donors and funders—far too numerous to list here—who have supported us in our efforts. I wish to personally thank Benito Huerta, Toni Beauchamp, John F. Guess, Jr., Cecily Horton, Kate Bonansinga, Wade Chandler, Beckham Dossett, Kerry Inman, Susie Kahlil, Ileana Marcoulesco, Judy Nyquist, Felix Padron, David Tarnowski, Sr., and Emily Todd for their friendship, partnership, sense of adventure and commitment to the organization and the visual arts. I thank in particular Mary Feeley whose personal support during the crucial, formative years of the journal made possible the eventual evolution and successful development of the organization into a viable institution.
By helping to create an organization of such quality and focused sense of purpose, I am now able to entrust ArtLies to an engaged and passionately committed group of advocates completely capable of carrying the organization forward, thus allowing me to explore new and exciting opportunities that I am fortunate to have available to me. For that, I am most grateful.
John R. Bryant
Executive Director, ARTL!ES