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Calligraphy guilds disappearing

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At one time in sunny Fla, we had 8 guilds. Now we have 3 and one of them is almost on the brink of being lost.  I was wondering if there are any statistics of guilds that are gone. How much of an influence did individualized learning from videos contribute to this sad  situation, not to mention a continuous flow of one day "become a calligrapher " workshops . Comments would be appreciated. Some groups seem to be doing fine, but some are just currently being managed .  I fear for the community as its always been volunteer work and a love for the art that kept these guilds afloat.  Things are a changing !   JERRY

Hello there Jerry,

I know this is reviving an old post but I can't help but comment. Your post made me look into the Florida calligraphy guilds; much to my surprise, the Coastal Calligraphers Guild meets just north of where I live! When I am home from school this summer I would definitely like to attend one of the workshops that they hold.

I do agree with you that video learning has reduced the "demand" for groups such as calligraphy guilds. Why attend a meeting and get real-time feedback, when you can watch a free video? Unfortunately, I feel that this is the way many people approach learning new topics. While all these new technological capabilities, it jeopardizes some of the more "old school" art forms and learning methodologies.

On a positive note, I do think that the resurgence of interest in hand lettering could be very beneficial to calligraphy guilds. Many younger people are coming to appreciate calligraphy. Calligraphy guilds have the chance to draw in all these new people who are interested. Things are changing, yes. But I think that should calligraphy guilds adapt to these changes, the decline of participation should cease.

Erica McPhee:
Thanks for reviving this thread @Katie.R ! I didn't see it the first time around. More good news... I live just south of the Coastal Calligraphers Guild and manage their website! So we must be close to being neighbors! I am always looking for calligrafriends! I'm currently redoing my studio but once it is finished, you have an open invitation to come visit.  ;D

We are a very active guild in Sarasota and in Orlando. In Sarasota we are getting new members on a regular basis. We are still a somewhat older crowd but I hope as you mentioned, with the interest in calligraphy, we will continue to see new younger members.

I would think with Ringling nearby, we would get more interested letter lovers.

I hope others will respond with the current status of of their guilds, too.

@Erica McPhee What a small world! Has the Sarasota Guild reached out to Ringling at all? I can't help but wondering if the college has a club for students related to calligraphy and/or lettering. If they do, this would be a great way to "advertise" to new members.

Living in a country where calligraphy guilds are unknown, I must say I cannot see online learning etc. in that negative light only. Without the internet and the possibility to connect (and to learn) online, my interest in calligraphy, especially pointed pen, would probably have waned or at least, learning would have been much harder. Like this, I had the possibility to learn from international reknown teachers like Harvest Crittenden for example. I cannot at this point in my life travel to the US to attend conferences and classes. So these online communities and classes have been a huge benefit for me!

Furthermore, while I do not organise a guild, I have organized calligraphy meet-ups here where I live, and just last week I attended a meet-up in Berlin that a collegue of mine organized! It's not as formal as a guild (as far as I understand) just a group of people meeting to write together and getting to know each other. We had people there from many different countries so my friend held the meeting in English and German it was quite amazing honestly, and also this would have been impossible to organize without the internet :).

Also I plan on offering online classes. Even inside Germany people cannot always travel half around the country for workshops, and I have been asked so I will.

I do understand that you live in a very different situation, @JERRY TRESSER and I understand your frustration. But in my experience, some people that start out only being interested in fancy modern stuff will get hooked on the more traditional styles and I am sure some of the guilds will be revived!!


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