Today, January 17, 2015, I am sitting in our gallery, looking at the beautiful and challenging work placed here by the artists of the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative. Part of that beauty and challenge is the result of technical growth made by the individual artists over 2014. I see works from people who have overcome life’s challenges and launched out into new ventures. I see the results of steady endeavor manifesting itself in our showplace. I see the works of new artists – to us – who grace our collection with their hard-earned advance in artistry. I have said before that serving as president of this cooperative is like riding on the crest of a wave. I heard Eric Clapton say once that, when he went to a Stevie Ray Vaughan concert, the volume was so great that he finally had to give in, let it tear him down, and go the heights the music would take him. This is the effect of our collected works on me and anyone who stands in their midst. This volume has also extended beyond our four walls in 2014. We have established a presence in Discover Downtown Charles Town and the National Endowment for the Arts Grant Steering Committee. Our city has even allowed us to display a piece of our art in the City Hall. We were featured in local and regional media toward the end of the year. All this is combined with continuing work by our members in the Jefferson Arts Council, Artomatic, the Old Opera House, Berkeley Arts Council, Berkeley Art Works and on and on. I am not going to try to single out artists in this litany because, in fact, ours has been a collective effort and journey. Suffice it to say that when one belongs to the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative, he or she is in league with a group of creative and contributing community members. Throughout the coming year my task will be fundamentally to enable the continued rise of our profile in our community and region. I do not look to keep up with or engineer the growth of our combined work. I look to be born forward in my progress as an individual artist in and as a functionary of the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative.