So many of you have been generous and helped build this site that it is time to do some serious 8869081278?profile=originalrecognition of the people who have made it happen. A volunteer editorial board of members has sent me nominations for the most important people in the community and we are rolling out our first AFI Community Leaders.

These people can be identified by the "Red Dot" insignia on their pictures on the site. This first group have been members here for three years, in fact, Geri Wegner, was member #51, and she is still here explaining the business and shopping at the shows! Way to go, Geri.

One of the editors said:

    ...let me say that there are several who would be at the top every time.  They always respond.  They always give their opinion, not always agreeing but that is what makes reading those topics interesting.

And another said she made her choices because she liked, "their insight, conversation starting and willingness to show their vulnerability and strength as artists and businesspeople."

And the Leaders are:

  • Larry Berman - joined March 2009 - always ready to answer, teach and learn, over 1600 discussions!
  • Barry Bernstein - joined February 2009 - participated in 275 discussions, occasional blogger, our resident curmudgeon
  • Geoff Coe - joined July 2009 - excellent reporting skills, over 50 blog posts
  • Nels Johnson - joined January 2009 - his writing is one of the reasons to turn on your computer in the morning
  • Linnea Lahlum - joined January 2009 - quietly helping and sharing in the discussions. Count on her for thoughtful questions and generous answers, over 400 discussions
  • Munks - joined September 2009 - watch out when he shows up, straightforward, honest answers that can make you cry or laugh
  • Jim Parker - joined January 2009 - friendly, useful reporting. Makes you want to be next to him at the next art fair; nearly 500 discussions
  • Geri Wegner - joined in November 2008 - personally making the rounds of the Florida and Illinois shows and reporting back; probably has more friends in the business than anyone
  • Diane Wright - joined July 2009 - practically a one woman welcoming committee on AFI, greeting the newbies and bringing them into the fold; over 400 discussions

Many thanks to all of you for their generosity. May your kindness return to you in the same beautiful way it was offered.

Every month we will be choosing a few people to add to this elite list. I'll be looking for your nominations. We all really appreciate those who contribute to this community and help the rest of us make sense of this peripatetic life. What makes you get up and visit this site? Who do you love?

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  • Congratulations all - well deserved recognition !

  • I have personally learned and benefitted from the discussions of these individuals!  Well deserved recognition.  I am always referring people to this site because of the contributions of these leaders and so many others!  Keep it up!!  Your time, talent and skills are very appreciated.

  • I thank you Connie and all the other artists for the wealth of info I get from here.In sept I'll be completing my third year of shows time flies when you're working your butt off LOL. As a photographer I get alot  of good info  from other photographers on shows because as I've learned a good show for 1 medium may not be good for another medium.Keep up the good work

  • Colin, I think you were in the first 25 who joined the site. When I looked at the list of members from the beginning yours was the first one that popped up who has maintained activity on the site since the first month. Do you remember how you found it?

    Diane, I remember when you came in. You were so helpful and friendly to everyone else who joined. I so much appreciated it. Your presence was pivotal I believe for many people to start contributing. Many thanks.

  • Thanks to all of you for your contributions to this site. I use it on a regular basis!

  • Congrats Everyone!!

    You have all helped me in my quest to learn, and grow in this wonderful, fun, silly and sometimes exhausting biz!

  • Thanks Connie.  This site has been a lifeline for me as I have been growing my business.  I have learned so much from all of the wonderful members here.  Both my work and my booth grew up here.

  • There are so many people who have helped this site grow, but this group of nine needs to be recognized for their "pioneering efforts." I'm thinking there are people who came in after them who are racking up the time also. Who will be the next ones chosen?

  • Connie, my partner in crime, my cousin, was on your email list for AFC.  I signed up for that and  I guess I saw something on AFC that led me here and the rest is history.  

  • This is really nice, Connie.  I am humbled by the honor, and so appreciative of the many folks who come up to me at shows and introduce themselves as AFIers who read my comments.  I have been taking a few weeks off from typing reviews (tendinitis) but will play catchup tomorrow while I sit in my damp motel room in rainy Delaware, waiting for some good light to happen.

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