President’s Report: Dec. 2011
With Christmas just around the corner I am, as usual, wondering where the year has gone! But it doesn’t take too much to realise that it has been a very busy year for the Art Society, especially in terms of working on rebuilding the Society’s headquarters. When we stand back and look at the development that has taken place over the year (mainly through voluntary work) we should feel very proud of our achievements – you would be hard pressed to find a better art society facility in the Territory. The development of the shed was our top priority and we have indeed achieved our aim of having a functional facility by the end of the year. We now have excellent amenities including: a kitchen; office area; toilets and showers; storeroom and a raised storage area. We also have four spacious art studios that were quickly snapped up to rent by practicing artists as soon as they became available. Centrally we have a gallery space, which, although not complete, is already providing a useful space for CAAS Life Drawing and a privately run Life Drawing session. This area will also become our main gallery where I’m sure many magnificent exhibitions will take place in the future. Our recent success with a one off NT Government grant means that we can now proceed to investigate and purchase appropriate hanging and lighting systems. The grounds surrounding the shed have also been cleared of weeds and rubbish, which has made a big difference to the appearance of the place. An irrigation system has been installed and a plan is in place for the development of the whole area. There are still some challenges ahead such as the development of the car park and installing a drainage system to direct water away from the shed and car park. All in all it has been a magnificent effort by the CAAS committee and members to get to this point. In order to celebrate this achievement, the committee is in the process of organising an official shed open day to take place early next year.
While the shed development has preoccupied our minds and zapped a lot of our energy, we have still managed to provide the art activities that are expected of the society. These include The Advocate Art Award, which was as popular as ever, Life Drawing, which continues to go from strength to strength and a shortened calendar of En Plein Air.
As a backdrop to all of this, the committee has been working on ways to improve its operations. We developed a comprehensive strategic plan (Future Directions 2010 – 2015) that is proving to be a useful guide to what we want to achieve. We have also embarked on developing a Policy and Procedures manual which when finished, will provide current members and newcomers with a clear understanding of just how we operate. On top of this we have continued to develop our website, moving away from a traditional website to a new interactive blog that enables us to be more in touch with our members.
So, as we wind down to Christmas and a well deserved break, we are already thinking of the how exciting the new year might look: a fully operating shed including a celebratory open day; various exhibitions and art activities both within and outside the shed and more involvement of CAAS members.
I’d like to make special mention of the CAAS committee members and thank them for their dedication and effort during 2011. Maggie Urban and Jo-Anne Harkin have resigned from the committee so I’d like to wish them both all the best for the future and thank them for their contribution.
To all members and committee members, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.