Big plans on tap in 2018 for Shenandoah Arts Council

Ann Jarbo stands inside the Shenandoah Arts Council's Deck the Walls Holiday Market at the council's South Loudoun Street headquarters in Winchester. Jarbo is the council's new director. Rich Cooley/Daily

WINCHESTER – Ann Jarboe, the new arts administrator of the Shenandoah Arts Council has big plans for the artists of the Shenandoah Valley and beyond in the upcoming new year.

Standing in the main gallery on South Loudon Street, surrounded by a collection of local artists’ work, Jarboe smiled with pride.

“Art takes so many avenues now that I feel like it just isn’t one thing anymore,” she said. “There’s so much more openness that allows you to express yourself that I feel like we need to get art out there.”

Jarboe joined Shenandoah Arts Council in October after leaving the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley guest services. She jumped right into the challenges of the museum.

“So far I love it,” Jarboe said when asked about her first few weeks in her new role. “I have a lot of passion for art and I love meeting new people.”

Jarboe received her master’s degree in art administration from Shenandoah University and said she was thrilled when the opportunity arose to join the Shenandoah Arts Council.

Jarboe, a Winchester native, sees art wherever she goes. She’s even inspired by the daily encounters she has when she sometimes decides to walk to work. And because of that, she sees endless opportunity.

“I want to showcase the talent that is around the area and just sort of expand our prospects.”

Her first “duty” she lightheartedly said, was to make the current members feel welcome.

“We’re going to be using social media more to connect with our members. That way they always know what’s going on in the art community,” Jarboe said.

She also plans on having a monthly newsletter for those less inclined to technology.

Jarboe’s second goal is to simply get out into the community more, introduce herself and the cause.

“There are so many wonderful undiscovered artists in and around Winchester alone,” Jarboe said. Her mission is to find them.

The council has over 300 artist members. Their shared passion for various mediums, including oil painting, acrylic, watercolor and photography, is something Jarboe wants the community to see more of.

“Art speaks to everyone’s soul, in one form or another,” she said.

Jarboe noted that artists have opportunities to display their art at various places in the area, including  Artscape on the Downtown Walking Mall in Winchester, the Jeans and Tonic event, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley – during an exhibit known as Art in the Halls.

“There are so many local businesses that are art lovers, so it’s nice for us to be able to make those connections,” she said.

An artist membership in the Shenandoah Arts Council is $35 and it is open to anyone in the valley.

“We’re going to try to be a resource center for artists so they can make the necessary connections they need to be as successful as they want to be,” Jarboe said.

Not everyone who loves art must become a member, Jarboe explained.

“If someone just wants to be kept up with changing exhibits or just news, those are what we call ‘Friends of ShenArts,'” Jarboe said. Donations run from $35 up to a corporate level.

The one thing Jarboe really wants to see more than anything is an increase in membership, including those living outside the area.

“We’re looking to partner with all types of community organizations in the area and surrounding areas to become better known,” she added.

Jarboe’s biggest challenge has yet to come. In 2018, the Shenandoah Arts Council will be celebrating its 40th year.

“I have so many ideas,” Jarboe said smiling. “But my goal right now is one day at a time.”