Jammin’: Initial Gut Reactions

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Hello! This is my first post for JAM (be gentle). Jammin’ will be re-occurring theme of my personal insights and opinions about my behind-the-scenes experiences with JAM. – Katie Farritor

When Jess messaged me in March, asking if we could meet up at a coffee shop and chat about the possibility of me joining the non-profit board for JAM Art and Supplies, I had little insight as to what this meeting might actually churn into life.

It was a meeting that fed my creative starvation. A meeting that opened the possibility of collaboration. A meeting that I had been waiting to happen for a long time, but wasn’t sure where it would come from or when it would ever happen. I eagerly jumped on board. A conversation with Jess will leave you inspired and determined, and a true believe in JAM’s mission. I was eager to help. My initial gut reaction was to grab on and hang on for the ride. I’ve enjoyed it immensely so far.

We’ve interviewed several different artists around Sioux Falls at this point. Each interview has been wonderfully different, wonderfully insightful and as Jess always says, “I am inspired again after each of these interviews.”

We didn’t know what we’d discover with our first Inspired Interviews or what would come out of them. We hoped they wouldn’t fail. And we hoped they would do justice to the artist willingly allowing us into their lives for a brief period of time. We have, in fact, discovered a brilliant world of creatives in our community and a spectacular group of people who have appreciated the small bit of the spotlight we are able to give them and their artwork.

I wanted to share a few insights into my initial experiences with JAM, ramble some of the thoughts that have flown through my head and throw out some opinions for you to yay or nay along the way.

1. Artists are brilliant.

I’m pretty sure I already knew this, but I didn’t realize just how brilliant. INTELLECTUAL. Ask them anything about an art piece or their passion for creating it, and they will blow your damn mind. They have more clarity, insight-fulness and perspective on their work, their life, and their passion than I could ever hope to gain about my own work as a graphic designer. More on this in another post.

2. Inspired Interviews: the interviewers are just as nervous as you, but we’ll smile and laugh about our own awkwardness; therefore, have no fear.

We are giddy-excited to be interviewing you and mostly just greatly appreciative of the opportunity to sit in a room with you and chat.

3. The art scene needs the public’s support. The artists need the public’s support.

If you’ve happened to stop by this page, glanced at the mission and perhaps read a few articles, share, tweet, email, comment and connect for the sake of promoting a good cause. Easy-peesy. We’ve only just begun to tap into the true possibility of what JAM can do for our community.

4. There are good people behind this nonprofit.

Jess is a calm, cool and collected fearless leader paving the way through uncharted territory. Amy is a hard-working, brilliant, kick-ass side kick who’s combed through and curated thousands of words for the Inspired Interviews and First Friday events. As a board, we are hoping the city adopts the mission of this organization and supports us through the process of learning, developing a used art store and uncovering the underground art world. It’s fun to watch more and more people jump aboard and support the cause as we fly along.

5. JAM is going places

Literally. We’re connecting and collaborating with everyone in the local art community – artists, galleries, print shops, non-profits and charities. We’re meeting you, slowly, but surely, and learning about you and how we can work together to promote art. If we haven’t talked yet, we will soon.[]

Katie is Senior Graphic Designer at Meta Bank. She takes photos of the Inspired Interviews and serves on JAM’s Board of Directors.

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