Borderland News from Executive Director : Jeff Gurchinoff

How to begin, well the only way I can think of is a rambling of thanks. I cannot tell you what an honor it is to be writing to you all as the Executive Director of Borderland Arts. Just to have been considered among all of the amazing talent we have in this group was beyond flattering and I will do my best to fill the shoes and maintain the motivation of our founders. Thank you for your votes of confidence. Now, moving beyond my shock, I must say that this coming year is going to be busy and very exciting.

If you are not yet a member, need to renew membership or are just out there watching Borderland Arts promoting events in our area, then now is the time to jump on board! Yearly membership is only $20 and you get to take ANY of the classes we offer absolutely free! Just look at everything we have been up to and are getting ourselves into and join us for some fun!

As we closed out 2016 with a dinner at the Maple Creek restaurant, we were able to say a very heartfelt thank you to our outgoing Executive Director of the past two years Jane Landwehr. Borderland Arts has certainly benefited from all of the hard work and support she provided. Kathy Kuczek and Cyndi Safstrom deserve a big thank you as well. Without their efforts, we might have spent our money frivolously and recorded it poorly. The fact that Kathy and Cyndi have stayed on as treasurer and secretary is proof of their dedication to the success of Borderland Arts; and, if she was not already doing enough, Kathy has designed and has been maintaining our website since she developed it. This has been a huge undertaking and a big step in the right direction for our group.

Looking ahead to 2017—it is full of exciting possibilities. We have found a new home with the Bay West campus in Iron Mountain, expanding on a relationship we’ve been developing in support of their art program. Our monthly restructuring is well on its way, and our first fun class is scheduled. In lieu of monthly business meetings, we are scheduling classes of all types. The new monthly classes will be held at Bay West College, and are free to all Borderland Arts members. Next month, January 12th at 6pm, we will be capturing the elusive beauty of a model that is quite a hoot. Journey, the educational owl in the care of wildlife rehabilitator Phyllis Carlson of Quinnesec, MI will be our guest model. Borderland members will be able to photograph, sketch, or paint Journey as they like. If you have a particular talent you would like to showcase, please let me know and we will try to include it in our schedule.

For the third consecutive semester, we have awarded annual Borderland Arts memberships to the winners of Bay West’s Student Art Show. The talent exhibited at these shows is nothing short of amazing and definitely worth experiencing. Welcome new students! Your talent and skills are a great addition to our group!

There are many other events planned; and a few new ones are in the works. I will let you know about those a bit farther down the road. For now I want to ask you to focus all of your artistic energy on making OUR Borderland Arts website the go-to location for what’s happening, who we are, and what we are doing. Please help Kathy help you, by linking YOUR website, Etsy, Pinterest, Facebook, or whatever online area you have—to our page We want to use this site to highlight your talent and increase your exposure. If you like to write and want to participate in our blog, we encourage you to share your literary talents as well.

Kathy can be inundated with emails at the following address:

Kathy can send me hate mail (and the rest of you can contact me at)

I really appreciate your support and want to just close with this thought: if we all come together and give just a little of ourselves—think of how big an impact our collective effort can have in our community!

Thank you!

Jeff Gurchinoff
Executive Director
Borderland Arts

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