Saturday, 4 July 2009

2009 ASAA Forum - Part Three

Carrying on from yesterday, today I'll give a flavour of what the ASAA forums are all about.

The first forum organised by Luther Gore was held in 1983, whilst the establishment of the ASAA was still being formalised. Since the ASAA charter was agreed in 1986 a further 23 forums have been held each incorporating the annual International Aerospace Art Exhibition. Having joined ASAA in 2006 I've attended the 2007, 2008, and of course 2009 forums.

The forum is a chance for members to get together and enjoy a week centred around aviation and art. This year the weeks schedule was dominated by academics ( much to my delight). I'm not sure of the final number of attendees but believe it was over 60. This number included family members and non artists who had the opportunity to enjoy the Savannah area in addition to the formal agenda. Attendence to any of the sessions is totally down to the individual, with no pressure to attend, so you are free to come and go as your like.

A typical day this year started with a briefing at 8.00 o'clock in the morning, providing details and timings for the rest of the day. Formal sessions then started in the museum at 9.00. Lunch was 12.00 - 13.00 with the afternoons sessions kicking off at 14.00 and running through to 16.00/17.00ish. This was followed by an evening meal, either as an organised event for all, or the chance to link up with a few fellow artists and the chance to discover the local cuisine. After eating most attendees would drift back to the hospitality suite and partake of their favourite tipple.

These hospitality sessions are worth a more detailed look, given the suite does not close until the last person leaves, and this seemed to average around 3.00 am each morning! These evening sessions are where friendships are made, advice freely given and everybody expresses an opinion on just about anything. Art brought along to the forum is on display all week in the hospitality suite as an unjuried exhibition. This provides plenty of topics for discussion and also the opportunity to have the greats of the aviation art world look your work over. There is nothing better than Keith Ferris sitting with you for half an hour or so and critiquing your work. (You ignore his words of wisdom at your peril). Otherwise the evening is littered with gentle banter, and drinking beer.

The real strength of the forums is to be found in the friendships made, and the huge amount of expertise on call, both at the forum, but also afterward upon returning home.

Tomorrow I'll touch on this years ASAA International Aerospace Art Exhibition...

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