Become a Member of your Creative Community!

© Doris Kleimann-Fischer

Treasures in Miniature Show at MIVAL Gallery © Doris Kleimann-Fischer

We invite Mercer Island artists as well as those living off Mercer Island to become members. Meet fellow artists, enjoy the support of an active creative community and take part in various opportunities to share your work throughout the year.

The purpose of the organization is to promote and encourage artistic endeavors on Mercer Island and the surrounding area, to stimulate awareness and appreciation of the visual arts in our community, and to sponsor art exhibits and workshops.

Memberships and Contributions
We welcome all people interested in the visual arts. Members must be at least 18 years of age, and dues are $30 payable in January each year. Members who contribute $10 or more beyond the dues payment become a Patron of MIVAL and those funds above the annual dues will be designated for the MIVAL Scholarship fund.

Just a reminder – We need you to ensure that MIVAL runs smoothly. Do you have a special skill or expertise that you can share with us? Members contribute their help in a variety of areas and it’s rewarding to be an integral part of MIVAL’s events and projects. Please contribute your time and skills and remember that volunteering for a committee and attending at least three meetings a year keeps your membership in good standing.

MIVAL accepts contributions from the community-at-large towards scholarships and awards. MIVAL is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.

To join, download and fill out the MIVAL Membership Form and mail it with your dues payment made out to:

Membership Chair
P.O. Box 134
Mercer Island, WA 98040

Benefits of Joining MIVAL

Share your talents and skills
We’re such a diverse and talented group. Have you ever taught a class, written an article or a book? Would you like to share what you know with our group? Let us know what you’d like to do! We have monthly presentations by members and non-members at our general meetings. If you have a suggestion let us know.

Artist Venues for Members on Mercer Island
All members are invited to show their art in local businesses. Venues vary and can accept 2-D and/or 3-D work. Please contact Ken Claflin if you are interested in showing and what kind of art you have to show. To see where our members are showing now, go HERE.

Art Explorers
Join fellow artists to explore new art, share your work and gain valuable support and feedback. We go to museums and galleries as visit artist studios. Contact Joni or Pat for more information: or

The Membership Directory
The Membership Directory is created annually and available to members at the membership meetings.

Message from Ken Claflin, our President 2011-2013:
How would you like to have fun, be a prolific artist, and become a better artist?

The book: Art and Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland has a section on perfection. A ceramics teacher announced on the first day of class that one half of the class would be graded solely on the quantity of work. One would receive an “A” for 50 pounds of work, a “B” for 40 pounds of work, and so on. The other half of the class would be graded solely on the quality of their work. They only needed to produce 1 pot. If it were perfect, one would get an “A”. When it was time to grade the student, the works of highest quality were all from the students who were being graded for quantity. It seems if you are busy turning out piles of work, you learn from your mistakes and become a better artist. The ones graded on quality, sat theorizing about perfection and had little to show for their efforts.

Let’s have fun creating art. Let’s be prolific, each one of us making 50 pounds of pots. In the end, we will become much better artists. Ansel Adams said “the perfect is the enemy of the good”, meaning, if he waited for everything to be perfect, he would never take a photograph. Trying to be perfect is to invite paralysis.

Be prolific!

We all need to thank Susanne Foster for leading MIVAL for the last 2 years. She was very dedicated to our success and led us through some big projects like the MIVAL’s 50th Anniversary. We can’t thank her enough. She also had some great volunteers we need thank. Congratulations to Susanne Foster and her team for a successful 2 years!

Ken Claflin, President 2011-2013

A Message from Susanne Foster, our President 2009-2011:
Volunteering is an important part of group behavior in our circle of over 100 adults, all lovers of art, makers and thinkers, supporters. Whatever you put into MIVAL in friendships, art talks, helping to hang an art show, inventing a new show for MIVAL to shine with, working in our Gallery, –  you get an equal or larger amount of knowledge, friendship, art tips, critiques back.

MIVAL needs ongoing support by all: older members teaching new members how we function, and new members need to show long-term members new processes. MIVAL offers small jobs like taking art work in before a show, writing an article for publication, hanging posters in local businesses, help set up chairs for our meetings. Many of these jobs are happening once, twice a year, some more often. You can set the dose of medicine!

MIVAL does appreciate and needs the ongoing help! We are such a lively group, with so many wonderful events planned. So please offer your help, even if you can’t make meetings during the day. Evening/home jobs, some on the computer, some without computer, are available. Board positions are available, some very small, some a bit bigger.

So please join in! What you put in, you get back and more! See you at MIVAL!

Susanne Foster
MIVAL President 2009-2011