Our Guild Annual Retreat is coming up. It is the one event we have open to non Guild Members as well as members, and it is our major event of the year. After trying on different dates for size through the years, we have settled on the first Saturday and Sunday of May to move all our PC gear to a big meeting room in Hillman House in Philadelphia and spend time claying and hanging out with our PC friends. We call the annual event Polydelphia!
We do give the Guild Members first chance to register, so members have been able to sign up for about two weeks. I just announced the general public registration this weekend, and we are filling up fast! I’m not surprised because this is a great event at a bargain price. (You can read more about it through our website: www.papcg.org and sign up there if you like, but don’t let too much grass grow under your feet.)
Now for me, Retreats are A Good Thing. The elements are pretty much the same regardless of the setting: time to clay, demos, food, vendors, silent auction, goodie bags and lots of friends old and new. A sense of familiarity envelops you as soon as you walk in the door and see all the others who have all the same stuff you do…. their workspaces look like yours. You feel at home. You move at your own pace, and the time goes by too quickly.
But this isn’t just a Retreat.
And here’s the difference.
This group is, without a doubt, the most inclusive and supportive I have ever encountered. And they come by it naturally, effortlessly, and, thankfully, without any syrupy insincerity. These ladies (and a few gentlemen) are just plain nice.
To illustrate our claim to niceness, I’ve posted some pictures from Polydelphia! 2005. You can see the results of the Speed Art Liberty Bell Challenge: folks had 30 minutes or so to decorate a blank piece of cured clay that was in the shape of the Liberty Bell (how cute is that… oh yeah, that one was my idea…) What you can’t see in this picture it the judging. The judges found something special about each entry and each was judged the best for their particular strength. Everyone was delighted.
In 2005, we had a fairly large percentage of Guild members who were very new to Polymer Clay. Many classes, meetings and retreats later, there is more serious artwork being created by our Guild Members than ever.
So Niceness may not win you a tennis match, but it’s great fertilizer for the artistic mind. And it makes for a great retreat! Hope you can come!