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President's Message

General Membership Meeting: July 28, 2021

Update 7/29/21: Thank you for voting for you 2021 Board of Directors. Congratulations to members Ellie Hochman, Rick Johnson and Julianne Kohn for your re-election to another term. Welcome to the Board Tamara Buchanan!
General Meeting and BOD Meeting Minutes will be posted online as soon as they are available.

All NWSSA members with an active status (dues paid) will be emailed an invitation to a zoom meeting to be held Wednesday, July 28, 2021.  The meeting will open at 5:45pm and officially start at 6pm. Look for a meeting invitation + link to be sent out on/around July 23rd. 
Vote election button.
Please VOTE for your board of directors. This is very important!  Please Vote. 

The two major aspects of the General Meeting are to announce the next years board members, and to present the financial report.
The first board meeting of the new board members will begin immediately after the General Membership Meeting.

President's Message Jan-Feb-Mar

From the President.... 

What is Happening in 2021???

The pandemic continues to present a substantial challenge to NWSSA operations so we are especially grateful for the significant relief funding we received from our long-time supporter 4culture.org, the arts & culture hub of King County, WA.

The NWSSA board of directors has been hard at work to ensure that we as an organization appropriately adapt and endure to dynamic conditions.  We’ve cut back on expenses wherever possible, which includes a temporary reversion of this journal to a quarterly issue instead of bi-monthly.  That said, we are also actively pursuing options for safely hosting events again, as conditions allow. 

Right now, we’re feeling optimistic, and we have tentative dates for both of our major symposia scheduled:

NWSSA Symposium in Washington State:
Saturday, July 10 - Sunday, July 18, 2021
NWSSA Symposium in Oregon:
Sunday, August 8 - Sunday, August 15, 2021

We are working with staff at both of our usual venues to see what arrangements can be made to space people out and take precautions to mitigate risk.  While we are making plans to gather, if at any point we feel we must cancel one or both of the events, we will.

The events are certain to look very different this year. Cyra Jane, our Symposium Director for the WA event in July, expects registration to go live on the website on June 1.  When we have updates to share, we will post them at nwssa.org.  We will rely on your help to make the best of the situation and come up with creative solutions.

NWSSA is a volunteer run organization, and in that spirit of collaboration we are seeking volunteers to support various committees that have been proposed.  These groups will work to further goals identified by the board of directors.  If you have skill sets and interests that you could contribute to one of these areas, please send us a note at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:

Archive Committee - collect and preserve facts, images, and stories about the history of NWSSA.

Communications Committee - improve information & feedback channels across the organization.

Education Committee - develop and strengthen relationships with colleges, faculty, and students.

Exhibition Committee - look for venues and pull together member shows.

Fundraising Committee - get money and put it in the bank!

Journal Committee - be on the lookout for great stories to share.

Event Support Committee - help with symposia, workshops, exhibitions…

Membership Committee - help members utilize resources and keep membership info current.

Benjamin Mefford

--- Benjamin Mefford - President, NWSSA

President's Message Aug-Sept-Oct

From the President.... 

Dear Sculptors,

I am enjoying the afterglow of our Virtual Symposium. As I write this, we still have a last day of events with a closing campfire. It has been just so great to see everyone’s face, trade ideas on studios, stone, or tools, and get to tour the carving spaces of friends. I really appreciate Cyra for raising the idea and then following through with the team of Ellie, Renee and Trevor.

Last night we had a really good general membership meeting. I almost preferred virtual to our in-person membership meeting, since I could see everyone’s face up close and it was easy to hear questions and comments. There have been two things that we can’t replicate so far – the hugs and the auction. If you have virtual ideas for either, please let Cyra or Ben know! 

At the general meeting Bob Leverich proposed that we change the name of our Washington symposium to the Salish Sculpture Symposium. The membership approved this change and the Board is researching this possibility. Bob and Rick Johnson also raised the issue of organizational diversity. We will be reaching out further in order to diversify our membership and attendees. If you know good candidates, please send them our way. We’ll turn them into stoners.

This will be my last Prez letter. I have reached the end of my term limits and we will have fresh leadership. I have enjoyed being part of the team and contributing what I can. I got involved with this group because each of us are so caring and sharing. I felt enveloped in love when I first arrived at camp 23 years ago, not a stranger but a new dusty friend. This is such a unique organization for this exact reason.

The new leadership team is Ben Mefford as Prez, Denny Tsang is VP, Trevor Contreras as Treasurer and Ellie Hochman as Secretary. We have a strong board and I feel good that this team will continue on the best course.

Many of us renew our membership in conjunction with one of the symposiums. Our system sends out reminder mails but sometimes these go to your spam folder. If you are uncertain about whether your membership has expired, please email the office (email is on our website) and we can sort things out. We are still producing the Journal and have reduced but still ongoing administrative expenses even though we are not producing revenue from our events, so your dues will help us pay for this.

Carve well, have fun, wear a good respirator and stay safe!

Ken Barnes

Ken Barnes

--- Ken