This week’s Volunteer Spotlight features Jeff Badger, FOA’s Vice President and creator of our international print exchange, Maine-Aomori Printmaking Society! We are gearing up our second installment of the MAPS project with twenty brand new prints to be exhibited in Yarmouth, Eastport, and York, and we couldn’t do it without Jeff! Get to know a little more about our VP here:
Volunteer Spotlight: Jeff Badger
Q: Tell us about yourself!
A: I am an artist, educator, and independent curator living in Cape Elizabeth with my wife and two children. I am the Co-Chair of the Fine Arts department at Southern Maine Community College where I teach studio art classes and serve as the Coordinator of the Global Studies Center. I currently serve as the Vice President of Friends of Aomori.
Q: How did you get involved with Friends of Aomori?
A: I became involved with Friends of Aomori through my experience creating international art exhibitions. In the past, I have organized projects that have facilitated the sharing of artwork between artists in Maine and artists in Greece, Spain, and Japan through my independent business Tetra Projects. From this experience, I was introduced by board member Ann Thomson to the Friends, and became involved primarily with the cultural exchange aspect of the group.
Q: What kind of volunteer work do you enjoy doing for Friends of Aomori?
A: My focus has been spearheading MAPS – the Maine-Aomori Printmaking Society – and all of the organizational elements the project entails. As I have moved into a leadership role, I’ve become more invested in the mission of Friends of Aomori, and more involved in the broader direction of the group. Presenting art exhibitions and working with artists and the public is my favorite aspect of working with Friends.
Q: What has been your favorite moment from volunteering with Friends of Aomori?
A: In March of 2016 we were able to welcome five artists from Aomori for a residency program in Portland. Hosting and spending a week with these artists while showing them around the city was wonderful, and the warm welcome and support we received from a varied group of local organizations and businesses made me very proud of our community.
Q: What makes volunteering important to you?
A: Quite simply, I believe that cultural exchange leads to a more peaceful world.