“Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)”, written around 1952, was the last hit for the popular composer Irving Berlin. Explaining the inspiration for his lyrics, he wrote, “…after the worst kind of a sleepless night, my doctor came to see me and after a lot of self-pity, belly-aching and complaining about my insomnia, he looked at me and said ‘speaking of insomnia, did you ever try counting your blessings?’”
Making sweet memories at artCentral over the last year has created a wonderful list of blessings to count:
· The blessings of artCentral’s benefactress Katherine Hyde, as well as, her estate trustees who value artCentral’s stewardship as we carry out Ms. Hyde’s vision for Hyde House, her family home, to always provide a place to celebrate and teach fine arts;
· The blessings of artCentral’s Artists and their art, Members, Docents, Friends, Guests and Patrons in Hyde House when possible and virtually online while CDC protocols are in place;
· The blessings of keeping the faith with artCentral’s hardworking, visionary board of directors including Betsy Flanigan, president; Jane Ballard, secretary; Jackie Boyer; Maddie Capps; Wendi Douglas; Doug Osborn; Jason Shelfer; and Kerry Sturgis; and our dedicated Membership Coordinator Bev Sturgis;
· The blessing of the designation of artCentral as an ArtSafe Space certified by the Missouri Arts Council;
· The blessings of underwriters and sponsors in our community and beyond who have graciously provided support to carry on with gallery exhibitions; stop-gap funding for the operational challenges created by the pandemic; and opportunities to raise funds to sustain artCentral’s programming;
· The blessings of generous donors like you who have reached into your pockets and found the dollars to contribute to artCentral’s ongoing success in the face of 2020’s challenges;
· The blessings of artists who have stepped up with panache and flexibility and given their best while dancing with artCentral’s fluctuating scheduling and CDC protocol requirements: Philip Ledbetter; Member Artists contributing to the Annual Membership Exhibition; board member and artist Jason Shelfer for the installation of his SCULPTURAL SPECTACULAR; and Ina Niday and Mary Datum with their beautiful 2 FRIENDS exhibition;
· The blessings of the forty-seven phenomenally talented artCentral artists who shared so generously from their hearts to raise funds through the wonderfully successful SMALL WORKS | GREAT WONDERS, 5X7 Silent Auction: Sally Armstrong, Jane Ballard, Joan Banks, Andrew Batcheller, Eric Beezley, Diana Bray, Aurelia Burr, Landon Cawyer, Stephanie Cawyer, Mary Datum, April Davis-Brunner, Nancy Dymott, Cynthia Greene, Alice Lynn Greenwood-Mathé, David Greenwood-Mathé, Al Gritten, Cindy Head, Steve Head, Diane Heisner, Barbara Hicklin, Nina Johnston, Janice Kinman, Helen Kunze, Lori Marble, Koral Martin, Jane McCaulley, Nicole Meyer-Foresman, Connie Miller, Dustin Miller, Janice Myers, Ina Niday, Mary L. Parks, Sandra Parrill, Tyla Marie Raredon, Chris Reed, Debbie Reed, Emily Rose, Brenda Sageng, Debbie Southard, Lisa Teerlink, Linda Teeter, Andy Thomas, Dan Trogdon, Jordy Vulpine, Lora Waring and Bonnie Young; and
· The extraordinary blessings every day and always in my life and work with my artist husband David who shares my passionate love for the world of art, for artCentral, for artCentral’s artists and for this remarkable small town where art really does matter.
We are wise to remember Aunt Martha’s “Count your blessings. Make sweet memories.” We are fortunate to have Irving Berlin‘s yuletide reminder, “If you’re worried and you can’t sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep, and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.”
As we fall asleep at the close of 2020, there are so many blessings to be counted, for as we wake into our brand new year of 2021, there are so many sweet, new memories waiting to be made.