2015 Annual General Meeting, May 16th

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.

Social after the 2015 AGM

Social after the 2015 AGM

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.

Life Drawing

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.

 Art Evenings

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.

 Ron Talbot

President 2014-2015

From The President


Ron Talbot, CAAS President

Ron Talbot, CAAS President

It’s been a busy month with lots to do but now that the weather has turned we are setting our sites on activities both within and outside the CAAS headquarters.

Sunday 28th April was the last meeting before our Annual General Meeting. I’d like to take this opportunity of thanking the current CAAS committee members for all of their efforts over the past year.  It has been a honour to work with such a talented and dedicated group of people, all of whom have made a huge contribution to the development of CAAS over the last year.

Please show your support for the Art Society by attending the AGM  3.00pm Sunday 5th May at our headquarters in Crispe St.

Just as we were starting to gear up for this year’s Advocate Art Award, Scott James (General Manager of the Centralian Advocate) informed me that they will not be able to provide the same level of cash sponsorship that we have previously enjoyed.  Myself and other key committee members subsequently met with executive members of the Centralian Advocate and the upshot is that they will provide the following sponsorship for this year’s event:

  • Excellence Prize $2,000
  • People’s choice Prize $1,000
  • In-kind support via the newspaper.

CAAS will top up the Excellence Prize to its current level of $2,500 and the People’s Choice to its current level of $1,200.  Unfortunately the cash prizes for the three categories (Faces, Place, Stories) were left unfunded.  However, the CAAS committee has been active in seeking out new sponsors for these categories and is pleased to announce the following sponsorships:

  • Faces Prize –   $800 sponsorship from Bellette Media
  • Places Prize –  $800 sponsorship from Chapman & Bailey
  • Stories Prize – $800 sponsorship from 8Hele Gallery.

So, after a short period of uncertainty, we can now say that the 2013 Advocate Art Award will definitely be going ahead.  I  encourage members to be considering their entries and to keep an eye on our Blog and your email accounts for further updates.

We are now very close to gaining a Certificate of Occupancy for our headquarters.  This has proven to be a fairly long and complex process, one that has plenty of pitfalls for the unwary.  However, through the dedication and persistence of some committee members we have been able to push through some significant barriers to a point where we now only have some paperwork to finalise plus pass a final inspection.  We’ll keep you informed of progress.

The committee is developing a programme of activities for the rest of 2013.  Building certification demands have set back this important task but we hope to have a copy of our updated 2013 calendar available to members very soon.  We have started to target individual members to see if they are interested in holding an exhibition at the shed.  Contact any committee members if you are interested otherwise keep an eye on the CAAS Blog or your email for more details.

Speaking of activities, many of you will know that CAAS turned 50 this year.  Being able to sustain a voluntary organization for 50 years is a remarkable achievement and this milestone can’t be taken lightly. We are in the process of organising a 50-year birthday celebration to occur later in the year.  Dugald Beattie is the main co-ordinator for this event and will contacting members for their input and support as things develop.

A very successful Life Drawing workshop (facilitated by the talented Manuela Pilz, an art teacher from the Gold Coast)  has just concluded at the Art Shed.  It was very pleasing to see such a well-organised and well-attended activity happening at the Shed.

Until next time … Happy Art

Ron Talbot


May 1st

Letter from the President…

Ron Talbot, CAAS President

Welcome back to all members, I do hope that you had a good Christmas /New year break and are now ready to face 2012.

It looks like another busy year ahead for CAAS.  We will again be turning our attention to the Shed in an effort to get it completed and fully functioning.  To do this we have to work on some details that will enable us to gain a Certificate of Occupancy.  Issues such as developing an acceptable car park and making sure that all of the required disabled persons features are in place must be addressed. The gallery lighting and hanging systems are currently being tackled and I hope to report more about this by our next meeting.  In the meantime the committee is discussing holding a Shed Open Day, which we hope will attract a large number of people. Indeed, we expect the Shed to increasingly become a hub of art activity as the year progresses.  Already we have member Carol Adams providing a Beginners Watercolour Workshop <http://paintinalice.wordpress.com/workshops/> which we hope, will be followed by other workshops, exhibitions etc. throughout the year.

The Advocate Art Award will again feature heavily on our calendar and we expect it to be as popular as ever.  So start thinking about what you might enter – it is never too early to get organised.

As usual we will hold our regular Life Drawing sessions on most Sunday mornings at the Shed (go to our website https://caasinc.wordpress.com/ or contact MarkWilson:

lifedrawingCAAS@iinet.net.au ). En Plein Air sessions will take place once the weather cools down.

Look forward to seeing you around the art scene and till next time, happy art activities.

Ron Talbot

CAAS President

A few words from the President…

CAAS President, Ron Talbot

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.

Ron Talbot