Official Statement from Sarah West
Monday March 16th, 2020
As we enter another stage in the world-wide fight against the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 here in the U.S, on behalf of the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art, A Center for Cultural Arts, I have chosen to issue this statement.
Since February founders of the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art have taken additional steps to practice extreme caution for the health, safety and well-being of our family, students, and gallery visitors. In addition to increased precautionary steps in cleaning and sanitizing any and all surfaces, we have also committed to sanitizing every single pencil, paintbrush and other supplies used. On Monday March 9th, we resolved to take greater measures towards social distancing in studio and gallery. As an added measure, we allowed only one student per table, and increased space between tables. Prior to and also following every student’s arrival/departure, we sanitized absolutely everything.
At our local schools, where we host ART IN SCHOOLS | 6th Grade Weekly Art Classes through partnership with the board of education, we also strived to achieve the utmost in providing a clean environment for each class. Prior to and following every ART IN SCHOOLS, class we took additional measures to sanitized every table, pencil, class instructional, eraser, pencil box, etc… On Friday March 13th, we taught our last ART IN SCHOOLS class just before Alabama School Closures were ordered.
In our personal lives, Monday March 9th marked the beginning of a new way of life. As myself, the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art’s founder and director, and Michele West as co-founder, we resolved to commit to only public interactions that are absolutely essential. Since then, we have ONLY made trips into a store out of true necessity. We advised our elder family member (my grandmother) to stay at home, where she has faithfully and patiently stayed since March 9th. And over the weekend (Friday evening March 13th- Sunday March 15th,) myself, my parents and grandmother remained at home, where we took additional precautions, dedicating time to deep cleaning, various domestic tasks and discussions concerning our plan for the upcoming week, particularly where our local businesses are concerned.
Following the announcement issued on Friday March 13th regarding Alabama School Closures, I felt a sense of relief, and a small hopeful sense of security equally checked by the imminent reality. As a Cultural Arts Advocate who has recently launched the most purposely substantial partnership, a milestone of my career with local county schools for fine arts education, the reality of not teaching in our local schools today is heartbreaking. I already miss every single one of my 6th Grade art students. YET, on the other hand, I’m relieved to know that today they aren’t sitting side-by-side in rows. Instead, I hope and pray that their families are protecting them within the confines of their homes and the safety of their sunshine filled front yards. My hopes are tempered by my valid concerns, as I have watched social media, seeing many who appear to be going about public life with little exhibition for caution or safe-guards. I find myself praying for them when I see posts of event with visible attendees numbering 20+ and casual shopping trips with mentioned things that don’t rate as necessities. On the other hand, I have also seen posts which lift my spirits exponentially featuring children reading while seated at a safer distance from their siblings, parents teaching cooking classes, and grandparents reinforcing good hygiene through proper hand washing demonstrations. Information is VITAL, and EVERYONE WORKING TOGETHER is the ONLY ABSOLUTE way to know if WE CAN STOP THE SPREAD of THIS VIRUS.
CURRENT STATUS FOR STUDIO CLASSES and GALLERY HOURS
As of today, Monday March 16th, 2020, The Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art, A Center for Cultural Arts will not host any Studio Classes this week (March 16th- March 20th.) The Art Center as a whole will be closed to the public. As a precautionary measure of extreme social distancing, Sarah West & Michele West will not participate in any events that require in-person attendance.
We are currently dedicating deep consideration and prayer to every weighed decision that we must make concerning our small-business, the health of our family and yours, as well as our community and humanity as a whole.
YOUR NEXT ART CLASS | YOUR CURRENT ENROLLMENT : ENROLLED STUDENTS
To any student currently enrolled as of Friday March 13th, 2020:Your current in-studio concentration (detailed in your current enrollment agreement) has been paused. Your class scheduled for the week of March 16-20 will not be counted as missed. As we continue taking this CRISIS one day, and one week at a time, we will make necessary decisions related to extensions and additional postponements as needed.
UPDATE YOUR STUDENT CONTACT INFORMATION with us:
Please be sure that we have your most up-to-date email and phone number.
Save Ours in Your Contacts: Email- firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 334-480-2008
In addition, we are working quickly to make online alternative options available for our current students. For the very latest in news related to the continuance of your classes, and for continued updates, cultural arts enrichment, support and online interactions, we welcome you to search, find, and follow us via the following social media networks:
The Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art, A Center for Cultural Arts via Facebook facebook.com/sarahwestgalleryoffineart
Sarah West Official Artist Page via Twitter twitter.com/SarahWestArtist
Sarah West Official Artist Page via Instagram instagram.com/sarahwestartist
*Special Note: If your most recent enrollment agreement reflects a March end date for your classes and you have not yet re-enrolled, we kindly ask that you call the gallery via 334-480-2008.
ART IN SCHOOLS | 6th GRADE WEEKLY ART CLASSES
ART IN SCHOOLS | 6th Grade Weekly Art Classes will resume when school closures for our area schools have lifted. We are working closely with the Lee County Board of Education and look forward to our return to usual weekly ART IN SCHOOLS classes, when our country and communities health is more secure. On Friday March 13th, the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art distributed At-Home Art Class Independent Study Worksheets to our school partners. It is our understanding that some of our area schools may make the provided worksheets online-accessible. For those among our 6th Grade art students who did not receive the worksheets prior to the notice of Alabama School Closures, we welcome your online interactions through our social media page facebook.com/sarahwestgalleryoffineart. We are currently working quickly to make additional online options available to our students. We thank you for your patience and appreciate your continued support.
As a small independent local business in rural Alabama, the success of The Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art, A Center for Cultural Arts is absolutely defined by the community that has made our bold and unconventional choice of career and life purpose a reality. We have served not only our home community of Smiths Station and Lee County for over twelve years, but our reach has far exceeded our early dreams and expectations. Although only a small dot beneath the pin on GPS, we have become a regional institution upheld by standards deeply rooted in community and centered in cultural enrichment. As we move forward, we do so with faith assured resolve and purposeful determination that we will endure and that together we can continue to support one another.
HOW YOU CAN HELP US ENDURE, CONTINUE OUR WORK and MAINTAIN OUR PLACE IN OUR STATE & COMMUNITY
IF YOU ARE one of our current students, and if you are financially able to continue to maintain your enrollment, we humbly ask that you call in your re-enrollment payments by the date indicated on your current enrollment agreement.
You may call in your payment via 334-480-2008
Your Enrollment will Appreciate. This means: while you are unable to attend in-studio classes your classes will roll-over as a class credit towards the day that we resume our Studio Classes. Our policy regarding ten week concentrations with a two-week potential extension will be waived and your enrollment continuing class date will be post-dated for the date of our return to Studio Class Scheduling. *any and all classes within your current enrollment concentration will roll over as a postponement until your return to studio.
IF YOU ARE NOT one of our current art students, YOU MAY BECOME A FUTURE ART STUDENT, and you may begin your Continued Fine Arts Education sooner rather than later. We are currently quickly working to make art education accessible to our students through our online networks.
To Begin: Enroll in our classes by calling 334-480-2008
Your In-Studio Art Classes will be post-dated to begin once we resume In Studio Art Classes
POTENTIAL ONLINE CLASSES for enrolled students.
We are currently working quickly to develop a way that we may offer online class options to our current students.
IF YOU JUST WANT to GIVE someone a GIFT CERTIFICATE or PURCHASE A SCHOLARSHIP
By calling the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art, you may purchase a gift certificate for In Studio Art Classes for anyone. Simply call 334-480-2008 to speak with one of our founders, who will answer any questions you may have and will assist you in fulfilling your Gift Purchase or Scholarship Purchase Request.
Gift Certificates and In Studio Art Class Scholarships are available in amounts of $250 and up…
DID YOU KNOW: the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art, A Center for Cultural Arts awards over 30 scholarships per year to individuals within our community. From area elementary school children ages 5-11 and youth school students ages 12-18, to adults and elders in our community, our scholarships are not only awarded in recognition of outstanding achievement or in recognition of community volunteer efforts, these scholarships are also presented to individuals who for various circumstances may not be able to further themselves through continued education. The Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art presents numerous scholarships each year as a philanthropic endeavor to make continued education accessible to those who would otherwise be unable to pursue such due to lack of financial means. As a community advocate, we look after and care for our own. When a students parent has lost a job, been laid off or has encountered various financial difficulties, our students are viewed as an extension of our family. Gift Certificate Scholarship Purchase Gifts enable us to continue Cultural Arts Enrichment through Education within the studio, at our schools and throughout our community.
OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT THE CONTINUANCE OF ARTS EDUCATION & ARTISTS
In addition to our focus on Continued Fine Arts Education and Cultural Arts Enrichment through our various outreach initiatives, this site as well as the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art, A Center for Cultural Arts also serves as the home studio, and initial exhibit space for artist, Sarah West. While our exhibition gallery is currently closed to the public, our online sites which represent the artist are always accessible. Through this website, your may learn more about our programs, causes, our artists and the Current Works of Sarah West. Recently returned from Alabama State Capitol Debut, select prints of The Civility Paintings initial suite by artist, Sarah West have recently been released. These master-prints have been released for debut as limited edition, selected and signed by the artist, with certificates of authenticity. Prints may be viewed via this site, click the Prints tab. To order your limited edition collectors print, call the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art directly 334-480-2008.
UNTIL the CRISIS IS OVER, we ask our community, art students and friends everywhere to follow advised guidelines for the sake of you, your family, friends, community, state, country and all humanity.
WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE