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Graphic Artists Guild

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50 Years and Counting: Past and Current Leadership Meet to Celebrate

The Graphic Artists Guild charter was signed in November of 1967, and we spent 2018 celebrating 50 years of activism and building community for visual artists. On the last day of November, 2018, the Guild held a 50th Anniversary Gala at the Society of Illustrators in New York City. The invitation list included past Presidents and Guild members. The joyous event, attended by Guild members in person and online, culminated in a coast-to-coast anniversary toast.

A number of Past Presidents were able to attend in person: Regina Ortenzi (1985-1987), Jonathan Combs (1999-2001), Kathie Abrams (1987-1989), and Haydn Adams (2010-2016). They were joined by previous Executive Directors D.K. Holland and Paul Basista, as well as Tad Crawford, former general counsel to the Guild and publisher of the seminal Legal Guide for the Visual Artist, and attorney Daniel Abraham, former Vice President for Public Affairs at the Guild and a co-founder of Artists for Tax Equity.

Guild past and present Presidents
Guild history: Past National Presidents Regina Ortenzi, Kathie Abrams, Johnathon Combs, Haydn Adams, and current National President Lara Kisielewska.
Guild National Board and Ed Shems
The Guild National Board and Ed (minus a few sensible people who went to bed).

Also in attendance were the current Board members, Administrative Director, and Regional Admins in town for the National Board meeting that started the next day. It was a great occasion to welcome our newest Board members–Junior Reps­ Liz Fiore (New England), Ian Castruito (Western), and Joe Lopez (Southern), as well as the new Southern Region Admin Camille Fletcher.

2018 Guild National Board meeting
The 2018 National Board Meeting in session. (photo © Haydn Adams)

During the two-day National Board meeting, Board members and admins reported on outcomes and developments over the past year, and brainstormed on plans for 2019. The major topic under discussion was member outreach: what services and opportunities can we provide to our members, and how can we anticipate what their future needs will be? With the infusion of fresh, new leadership into the board, the discussions were wide-ranging and resulted in an ambitious set of plans for 2019.

Below: Board members took a break in between meeting days to take in the sights and have dinner in midtown Manhattan.