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A thought our city had 25 years ago to celebrate its arts community has flourished and grown into a tradition anticipated each October in Emeryville and the East Bay. Our city has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past two and a half decades and the arts have been a partner to it all.

The Annual Emeryville Art Exhibition happens only through the support of our city, our business community, a dedicated Board and Operating Committee and over one hundred volunteers. The Operating Committee is command central for the Annual. Our volunteer coordinators, Linda Boyd, Pam Mendelsohn and Frances Gaston handle all the details to keep the bases covered from artwork installation assistance to gallery sitting. Dan McNevin works miracles in locating our exhibition space each year and this year is no exception. The reception team of Jean Goldman, Albert Repola and Kurt Brinkman has been joined this year by Dena Justice to work their magic on opening night. Gwen Souza charms our restaurants and retailers, assuring a poster in every window. Dan Carlevaro, Mary Judd, Kava Massih, Elyse Klaidman and Dick Kassis pitch in wherever needed. Marella Pedersen in the office, Shane Clabaugh on the phone to reception donors, Jim Golden on the road to gather all those opening night donations and Linda Boyd behind the scenes watching over any detail involving technology helps everything run smoothly. And then you add all of our volunteers. Do you have a sense yet of my gratitude for all this continued dedication to our event?

A special thank you this year to Paul Tomidy retiring from his many years as curator of the Emeryville Annual. With this year’s show, we welcome Kathleen Hanna curator and exhibition designer. Her many years of experience keenly evident from start to finish moving through all the unique aspects of our event. Graphic Designer Suzanne Anderson has taken our silver anniversary and brought it to life. Publicist Genevieve Antaky finds new ways each year to be sure our visual voice is heard throughout the Bay Area. As always, it is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to work with these professionals.

The continued support of our many donors in the business community is deeply appreciated. So many things call out for our attention and we are honored to have yours. This appreciation of generosity extends this year to SIMEON Commercial Properties, LLC and Hollis Investors II, LLC for their contribution of our exhibition space. The support of Barbara Wells and Kevin Meixner of SIMEON has been a great help. And, of course, the exhibition would not be possible without the continued support of our City Council through their generous grant and in the many additional ways in which we enjoy the city’s cooperation.

A bit bitter sweet for me this year to be, for the first time, without my biggest cheerleader and great envelope stuffer for the exhibition, my mother Jeanne Wilchar. Her love of the visual arts and poetry influenced both of her daughters to appreciate the same.

A book commemorating the Exhibition’s 25th Anniversary is in the works … a trip down memory lane not only for the arts but for the 1.25 square miles we call home. Enjoy the Exhibition and a sampling of the creative energy at work in Emeryville!

Sharon Wilchar