ARAS has set its vision on growing in two areas simultaneously. We are growing the archive itself with new images, new commentaries and expanded sections from less well developed parts of the archive such as the Meso American and Asian sections. And we are growing our outreach to the world with new programs such as the Pioneer Teen Program and the ARAS/ARTstor project. At any given time, we are developing projects that are more introverted and others that are more extroverted. The newest of our more introverted projects has just come to fruition through the generosity of a grant from the Bay and Paul Foundations. When we put together The Book of Symbols, there were over 300 hundred wonderful images that had been selected for the project that did not make the final cut to be included in the book. This did not mean they were not as good as those that ended up in the book; we just couldn’t include everything we wanted to. Those images which were not included have now just been been published as part of the archive. Subscribers to the archive can access all the new images by typing “Bay and Paul Preservation Project" into the search box and clicking on Search Image Archive.
Adding these images sounds like a straightforward project but when you think about all the pieces that go into creating such a collection, you can get a good idea of the kind of work it takes to curate the ARAS archive which stands out as a unique selection of symbolic imagery and commentary. Grant writing, image selection, categorizing and filing electronically, writing commentaries, placing the images on the website—all are fine skills that our ARAS staff routinely exercise. The following staff members deserve our deep gratitude for their incredible skill, creativity, curiosity and dedication: Karen Arm, Anne Thulin, Allison Tuzo, Kako Ueda and our Executive Director, Ami Ronnberg.
Our work at ARAS continues to be exciting and challenging. We are developing wonderful new ventures, especially in Taiwan and China. As we move into 2016, we have ambitious goals for the future. To realize those goals, we need help in the form of contributions from all those who believe in ARAS’ mission to bring a psycho-spiritual intelligence to the exploration of symbolic imagery cross-culturally. Click here to give what you can.