THE 34th  ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF FELPHAM ART GROUP

                               SATURDAY 25th OCTOBER 2014

 

I hope you are all well and still enjoying your painting.

 

As in previous years, I am writing to you in advance of our Annual General Meeting because I realise that some of you may not be able to attend.

 

Let me start by saying that I still count it as an honour and a pleasure to continue to act as your chairman.

 

As you may already be aware, I have had one or two health problems this year. With the support of Mavis and a number of supportive  members, I am pleased to say that my temporary incapacity did not impact on the Art Group programme in the slightest and I am slowly getting back to fitness. Many thanks to all those who rallied round in support and to all the kind well-wishers.

 

As in previous years, this letter covers the following topics: Review of the year, Our Committee, and the Way Forward.

 

 

REVIEW OF THE YEAR

 

 

Overall it has been another successful and highly enjoyable year for Felpham Art Group. It has been a year marked by a good standard of art work, good teamwork, and

a good spirit of friendship within the Group. All features for which we can be proud to be members of Felpham Art Group..

 

Our Programme, managed superbly again by Grayham Goll, has delivered some highly enjoyable and inspirational events. Inevitably there have been highs and lows, but far more highs than lows.

 

From the painting perspective, we had another successful and highly enjoyable year. The general standard of art from our members continues to improve year on year. I am delighted to see so many members developing their skills and clearly getting a lot of pleasure from their art. Our exhibitions and workshops show what can be achieved by so many of you when you give free expression to your creativity and abilities.

Numerous visitors to our exhibitions have commented on the excellent standards we achieve, and many of those positive comments have come from  professional artists.

 

It has been a particular joy this year to welcome some highly-talented new members to our Group. I am sure that their art work will soon make a significant impact on our  future exhibitions.

 

As regards the Group’s main activities and events over the year, I hope I have captured the most salient points below:-

 

 

·         Exhibitions

 

High on the list of our successes  were our Exhibitions. We more than covered our costs at each of them. We exhibited a grand total of 1062 paintings and sold a highly creditable 166. We were visited by literally hundreds of people. Even if not buying, most visitors were extremely complimentary about the standard and range of our paintings. Well done to  all contributors! Equally, well done to all the stewards and kitchen staff for their contribution!

 

The Norfolk Centre, Arundel, again proved to be an ideal venue.The significant increases in the hiring charges did pose us with a challenge, but we managed to cover our costs by adjusting hanging fees when necessary – thank you all for your understanding.

 

We also reduced our Annual Exhibition to three days as opposed to the usual week. This change was prompted mainly to reduce costs but also we could not get a weekend, as opposed to weekdays. For 2015 we have tried to book weekends for all our exhibitions and we await confirmation on the dates we have put forward.

 

An additional challenge rose in our Spring Exhibition when we had to find space for well over 300 paintings – a record in terms of our exhibitions. Consequently, you will have noticed that we have reduced the number of paintings that each member can exhibit, with particular regard to large-size pictures. A pity really, but we do have to display our paintings in the most favourable way possible and we have to appreciate that there are limits on the space available to us.

 

It was a mixed year for our Sea Front Exhibitions. In a summer which contained a good proportion of sunny days, we unluckily lost two of our four Sundays to bad weather…either high winds or rain ..or both. Nevertheless, the two exhibitions which we did manage were very successful. Over those two days we sold 53 paintings, in fact the last one, at the end of August, saw 36 paintings sold…coming close to our record.

 

Many thanks again to all our helpers and contributors.

 

Fingers crossed already for 2015.

 

 

·         Demonstrations and Talks

 

 

With regard to the rest of the programme, centred on The Village Hall.   Thanks to Grayham, we did not lose a single event last year. Whilst two demonstrators had to pull out for various reasons, Grayham was able to find immediate replacements.      

The programme proved to be wonderfully diverse, ranging across different media, varying styles, and various topics. The following are some of my highlights for the year:

·         We were enthralled by Anthony Slim’s informative and entertaining talk on  Salvador Dali.

·         Gordon Rushmer gave us an emotionally-charged insight into the experiences and art work of a war artist in various theatres of war over the past three decades.

·          Hashim Akib’s demonstration of ‘vibrant’ acrylics was attended by 60 members. This was by far the largest attendance of the year. Hashim paints in a heavy impasto style with such an immediacy  and urgency in his paintings that he fully justified the use of the word ‘vibrant’ in his introduction.

·          Our very own Brenda Thompson provided a constructive  and uplifting critique on members’ paintings which was greatly appreciated by all.

·                               Terry Harrison brought us his characteristic technical expertise and 

      good humour, completing a fine painting in the limited time available.

·         Rebecca de Mendonca demonstrated a lively and energetic use of pastels. Highly enjoyable and informative.

 

In choosing our demonstrators each year we do listen to feedback from the membership. We try to reflect the membership’s preferences in our programmes while still providing diversity in media and style. I hope you will see in the 2015 programme that we have again listened to you and included your requests as far as possible.

 

·         Workshops  

 

This year’s whole-day workshops were very well received. I think members who attended were pleased to have a whole day to develop and produce a painting… and what terrific paintings they produced!.  During these workshops, we had a lot of fun and inspiration from a range of visiting artists.

 

We all thoroughly enjoyed Stephen Foster, Bridget Woods, and Jake Winkle  . All these artists brought their own expertise and styles, and all proved to be great teachers and facilitators.

 

We provided lunch on these events, or more correctly,  Joan and John Mayger, prepared and provided our lunch. We are extremely grateful to Joan and John.

The lunches received ‘rave reviews’ from all concerned.

 

 

·         The Annual Social and Lunch

 

 

The only other ‘low’ of note was the disappointingly low number of members who attended our Annual Social Lunch at the Beachcroft Hotel.  It was, as ever, a pleasant and informal occasion for those who did attend.

 

As a consequence of the low attendances over the past few years, your Committee and I decided that a full review was necessary. Accordingly, we canvassed the views of the whole membership. Many thanks to all of you who responded with suggestions and opinions. As a result, this year we are trying a more informal Social event on Saturday 13th December at the \Village Hall in Felpham. I will send you all details nearer the time but I do hope that many of you will give it a try.

 

·         The Website   www.felphamartgroup.com

 

Since the last AGM, our website has progressed well under the management of Richard Noble, to whom we are extremely grateful. As you know, our website provides details of our programme, and also provides a first contact point for many membership enquiries. Take a look at it and tell us what you think.

 

Well done Richard!  

 

 

OUR COMMITTEE

 

As is the custom at the AGM, two Committee Members stand down each year and may seek re-election if they wish to. This year, it is  Grayham and Brenda Goll’s turns.  As mentioned above, Grayham Goll is our innovative and efficient Programme Manager, but also helps in numerous ways during the year at all the Group’s activities. On occasions, he deputises for me

Brenda Goll plays a vital role as Minute Secretary at all our meetings but also helps in

many other ways at our events and exhibitions, Both Brenda and Grayham are willing to carry on in the Committee.

 

Grayham, however, would welcome nominations from anyone prepared to learn and undertake the responsibilities of Programme Secretary. Grayham has already produced the programme for 2015 and would be happy to coach someone through next year to develop the 2016 programme. It is an important and rewarding job which would be ideal for an enthusiastic member who could have Grayham’s experience to rely on in the first year.  

 

The remaining Committee Members are all prepared to carry on in their existing roles. Mavis is our Treasurer and acting Membership Secretary and, natural bias  permitting, I applaud her fantastic dedication and hard work on behalf of the Group in

many other ways during the year. Lin Biffen handles publicity very effectively as well as giving great support at all our exhibitions. Shirley Sadler is our efficient  Bognor Hospital Liaison, and is also a terrific help at all our exhibitions.

All the above Committee Members do sterling work for the Group and are assets to us all. It is an honour for me to lead such a friendly and productive Committee.

 

I also acknowledge that there are a growing number of members who make important contributions to the running of the Group and freely help at our events. I am especially grateful to Joan Mayger who manages all our catering arrangements, and to Phil King who is the Group’s Photographer (quite apart from  being a great help at Exhibitions and events). .

 

We still have vacancies on the Committee, as you will see on the separate  Notice regarding the AGM. However, we also welcome Members onto the Committee without taking on specific roles. Do please get in touch if  you are interested..

 

In addition there are some specific jobs where we need help without the necessity of joining the Committee if a volunteer did not want to make that commitment..

We need someone who could manage any of the following tasks:-

  • To resource and manage a raffle at certain events;
  • To manage the sale of books,etc at certain events;
  • To provide plants/flowers etc  for decoration at our indoor exhibitions;

 

THE WAY FORWARD  - Looking to the coming year

 

Below I have summarised some of the issues to which attention will be given in the coming year.

 

·         We will continue to develop the website.

 

·         We will continue to develop our publicity and fundraising

 

·         We continue to develop our programme to meet   Members’ preferences. I hope you will see a number of examples in the forthcoming programme where we have responded to feedback or events that have gone well.

 

CONCLUSION

 

At the end of a very enjoyable and successful year, it is worth reflecting upon our primary aim.

The overall aim of Felpham Art Group remains the same, as it has always been, to inspire, encourage, and support our members and give them opportunities to display their art.

 

My wish is that you all enjoy the Group’s activities and are happy to be members of the Felpham Art Group. To those ends the Committee and I will do our utmost. I look forward to sharing another exciting and challenging year with you all.

 

With very best wishes to you all,