WE CONTINUE TO FLOURISH DESPITE COVID OBSTACLES!

ART GROUP NELSON

PRESIDENT’S REPORT PRESENTED AT AGM 2022

Welcome to all members who have come tonight and to those who took time to send their apologies. Perhaps I should also thank the team from Tasman Visual Arts Group who cajoled me into taking the job nobody wanted last year! It has been quite a journey. I spent the first week of office reading some previous minutes and correspondence to obtain the flavour of the club.

Here is a snippet and I apologise now if some feel this is politically incorrect but I am only repeating what was written 37 years ago in 1985...

‘’I also feel that the president should be a man, and that there should be as many men as possible on the committee as male members are a bit shy about turning up if they think they may be the only male there.’’

10 years later – We should have a critique panel of 5 people but not Mr X as he tends to upset people!

20 years ago the membership was 94, now 123, loosing a few but gaining more since the last AGM. Thanks to Robbie Burns for managing our memberships and being a multi talented Mr Fix it.

30 years ago there was a wearable hat competition and there was a decent prize for the winner, Chocolates!

Moving on, the first event for myself and the committee was to find a new venue Putangitangi Greenmeadows which you will agree is a significant improvement of the hill start challenge of the Nick Smith rooms. We also needed a new venue for our winter exhibition. Whilst we had around 20 members exhibit at the Refinery on Hardy Street, the lack of foot traffic and Art Centre’s Commission costs were not in our favour. The small art expo at the Wall to Wall Gallery met a similar fate with only around 15 pieces of art sold. However a different story at Queens Gardens 2022 which despite covid restrictions and the threat of anti vaxer disruption, it proved a very successful event. Sunny weather, an excellent organising committee headed by Emily Lake, and the super volunteers who checked passes all day meant most exhibitors sold work and a very enjoyable experience was had by all.

Despite having to cancel our first workshop with Charlotte Giblin all was not doom. Charlotte was invited to the Suter as a guest speaker and to have her own exhibition but we gained a new workshop coordinator in Glenis Ambrose who arranged the very successful class run by Paul Deacon with rave reviews. The next workshop in July on palette knife techniques is already over subscribed and now continuing on a regular basis is plein air organised by Nichole Russell and figure drawing with Jacqueline Roberts. Gary Gibbens and Tom Downing also motivate seniors to paint here at Greenmeadows.

I have attended an Art Nelson Community Hui to assist the development of an Arts Policy/Strategy for Nelson Council. What does success look like you might ask and ponder on this key question ‘should equal funding be spent on sport and the arts?’ We have also gained a grant for our winter exhibition from Nelson’s facilities fund and am awaiting the results of a further funding application.

Claire Dowson our secretary has become an expert at zoom meetings by managing to keep virtual meetings going. Thanks Claire. As you are all aware, the payments of your sold work has been very prompt and that is all due to Shirley Whitmore our treasurer who is now stepping down as an officer after three years of brilliant work. Thank you Shirley. Quietly volunteering for committee work Mila Boura has also contributed to the smooth running of our exhibitions. Thank you’

Last but not least thanks to Pat Reid who against the odds has found really interesting speakers for our monthly meetings.

Karen Loten

President Art Group Nelson

1 June 2022

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