If you think of the word “passion” and if you know Connie Whitlock, you have a hard time separating the two. She is relentless in the pursuit of her goals, and the mountains she is able to conquer are truly inspiring. In 2006, Connie founded WHAM Art Association, a non-profit 501(c)3 art organization dedicated to promoting art through art shows, exhibits, classes, events, and public art. Her vision was to create a place for ALL to engage in the arts throughout the West Valley. WHAM opened an 8,500 sq. ft. Community Art Center in January 2012, which is one of the Arizona Art Alliance’s Gallery partners. The Center and Gallery are in Surprise, AZ. WHAM has grown to 250 members with talents in all visual art mediums. Connie’s tireless work in creating opportunities to support, educate and enhance communities through the Arts has enriched the West Valley, which has been a long- standing passion of this dynamic woman. Beyond creating and selling artworks, a passion for advocating the Arts is evident in: participation in city government and community meetings, collaborating with private businesses and events, creating solutions to unmet needs, meeting community challenges through the Arts and shaping ways to evaluate just what it is that the Arts can do for our community’s economic progress and for individual character/happiness. Connie’s many years of Art Excellence have long been an inspiration for all of us serving in our Art Alliance.
When talking about Connie, one cannot forget Connie, the Artist. She has a special passion for clay. Inspiration for her work comes from an inner philosophy that “Life is good—be happy!” Based in Surprise, AZ, Connie is a clay and mural artist with 17 years’ experience in creating art, teaching art and promoting art. Being raised on a farm in the Midwest gave Connie the basic love of working with her hands and creating something from the earth, which later became a source for her work in both content and subject. Organic forms of nature often become the “voices” and emotions of important events, and have become part of a personal visual dialogue in Connie’s work, expressing pleasure, peace, love, nature’s simplicity, and joy.
Connie’s passion and accomplishments seem endless: creating her own art, educating others, promoting art, creating opportunities for artists, arts advocacy, enhancing the community. It’s people like Connie that make our Alliance shine. What a gal! She’s a definite WOW!