The new Committee for the Art Shed was elected at our Annual General Meeting last Saturday. Thanks to those who were able to attend, or sent their apologies.
The re-elected executive members are: Ron Talbot (President), Mark Wilson (Secretary) and Steve Anderson (Treasurer).
The committee has re-elected members Willie-Dugald Beattie, Bev Gray, Francoise Barkeij-Builder, Elaine Cooper and Alan Saunders. Newly elected to the committee are Vicki Skoss, Helen Meredith and Kathleen Wilton. Welcome & thank-you. Will bring you a photo when we all get together. Looking forward to a productive year. Thank-you also to our Returning Officer, and member, Iain Campbell.
President Ron Talbot presented his Report for the previous year:
Good afternoon everyone and thank you for attending the Central Australian Art Society’s 2015 AGM. My name is Ron Talbot and I’m the president of CAAS. I’d like to take you through some of the highlights of the past year and spend a little time talking about the future.
Buildings and Grounds
Generally the Shed seems to be holding up well. We do have a problem with storage but we are seeking funding to build a storage shed out the back. I’d like to thanks Dugald Beattie for keeping his eye on the place and also to Carol Adams for her recent input.
The gardens are doing well thanks to committee member Bev and we are in the process of repainting our sign outside.
CAAS continues to use the website blog as the primary communication tool. Automatic emails are generated for upcoming events for members & friends that have registered on the website. We currently we have 417 website followers. Through Facebook we are aiming to generate two-way communication. The more the user comments, and SHARE our posts the more people in their circle learn of our activities and what we offer. Direct emails are used for issues that do not need a website presence. We are aware that over contacting people is both annoying and often counter productive. There is also the tension between advising people too early, to have them forget, or to advise too late with the obvious consequences. This is where Facebook fills that void.
Member Carol Adams has recently developed the “What’s On at the Shed” page on our blog plus a “What’s On” poster that has been distributed to key places around Alice Springs. My thanks to Carol.
Art Shed Activities
Carol Adam’s held watercolour workshop on the 19 October 2014, which was excellent and well attended by some very satisfied artists, including myself. This is the sort of activity that we should strive to provide given the great facilities here and the obvious enthusiasm shown by the community.
CAAS holds regular Life Drawing sessions on Saturday afternoons and a long pose session on most Wednesday nights.
Life Drawing continues on its usual cycle of peaks and troughs depending on both model availability and sufficient artist interest. Some members enjoy the Wednesday night sessions with just the one pose in order to undertake more substantial works. This has created a significant increase of serious artistic output with some wonderful works being produced. Our walls have some samples of these together with a few plein air pieces.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thanks Mark Wilson for his dedication towards this CAAS activity. He truly has gone well beyond the call of duty here.
Art Shed Exhibitions
School Exhibition: We attempted to engage with a number of secondary schools around Alice Springs in order to hold a student art exhibition at the Shed. Unfortunately we had to cancel the planned 2014 exhibition due to the difficulty of trying to coordinate between some very busy teachers.
Pop Up Exhibitions: We are open to providing the occasional Pop Up exhibition at the Art Shed (similar to the one recently held by member Bevil Staley). These more spontaneous events will hopefully prove more popular with members and friends.
Prisoners Art Exhibition: We are in discussions with Rob Steer (Executive Director, Correctional Operations) over the possibility of holding an exhibition of works from the inmates of the Alice Springs jail. Discussions have been very positive and it seems that it will be held between the October16 – 25 this year with Minister John Elferink in attendance. The key stakeholders in partnership with CAAS are: NTG (Correctional Services); Batchelor Institute and Alice Springs Town Council. If successful, it will be a significant event for CAAS, for the prisoners and for the Alice Springs community. I look forward to it becoming an annual event on the Alice Springs Art calendar.
Every 2nd month on a Thursday night, CAAS encourages like-minded people to get together and socialise at the Shed and share topics of artistic interest. This new initiative has proved very successful and has included a talk by Artist, Adventurer and Historian Bill Gannon and DVD’s covering the life of Margaret Olley to name a few. Future evenings will include Deb Clarke’s photo presentation of her recent trip to Iceland and a film based on the life of Paul Gauguin.
The Art Shed Library
A wonderful collection of books and other art-related resources has been established at the Art Shed for members to borrow or browse through. Books are on a self-check in / check out system. CAAS is very grateful to Carol Adams for setting up the Library and also to those members who have donated various books.
Art Shed Studios
All of the Art Shed studios continue to be occupied by local artists. Having active artists on the premises helps create a positive atmosphere within the Shed plus it brings in a helpful income stream for us.
Advocate Art Award
The Advocate Art Award remains our premier event and the 2014 award was once again very successful with: 63 entries; 17 first time artists; 300 people attending the opening night; over 1,200 visitors to the gallery during the 2 week exhibition and 700 votes counted in the Peoples Choice Award. 13 pieces were sold totalling $10,289 in sales revenue.
I’m pleased to announce that we have full sponsorship for this year’s Award and I’m particularly heartened by the renewed interest and support from the Centralian Advocate newspaper. The new Managing Editor Michael Gorey has demonstrated his enthusiasm towards the event by reinstating $1,200 sponsorship for this year’s People’s Choice Award. 8Heele Gallery has also come back onboard to provide $800 support for this year’s Places Prize and Chapman & Bailey have kindly shifted their support from a $800 Section Prize to the $2,500 Excellence Prize. We are indebted to all of this year’s Advocate Art Award sponsors and thank them for their support and generosity.
Once again I’d like to acknowledge the work carried out by Steve Anderson as the coordinator of the Advocate Art Award and to those members who continue to provide their support.
En Plein Air
Each year we offer the opportunity to work together in the beautiful Central Australian landscape.
En Plein Air is about to re-commence for the winter outdoor season and my thanks go to Dugald Beattie for organising these events.
The Challenges Ahead
I think that you would agree from my report that CAAS has been very active over the past year and it’s exciting to see new initiatives in place and to think about those soon to come on stream. However, it is one thing to create new initiatives and another thing to maintain and nurture them, particularly in a voluntary organization like ours. The important tasks are too often left to a few dedicated people, and whilst they do it without complaint, it isn’t a good position to be in. We therefore must find ways to encourage our members to become more active, both in terms of joining in with activities and lending a hand when there’s some heavy lifting to do. As Mark Wilson recently wrote, “We are only as strong as our members and supporters” and he is right! But what can we do about it? As you have heard, we have greatly improved our communication systems and provided a number of new activities/resources for our members, but it seems to be not enough. I’m not sure of the answer to this problem so I’ll pose that question for the new committee to ponder.
I’d like to take this opportunity of thanking the outgoing committee for all of their efforts over the past year – it’s been a pleasure working with you. I should make special mention of Mark Wilson as Secretary and Steve Anderson as Treasurer for their outstanding work throughout the year. I’d also like to wish the new committee all the best in the year to come.
Your presence today is greatly appreciated. Thank you.