Letter from Sinclair Webster, Chairman - 15 January 2021



Members,

Goodbye 2020. Two weeks into 2021 and what a grim start to the year this has been! In October I wrote to you about how we were participating in the resurgence of cultural activities, only to have our proposed Autumn show shelved a few weeks later.

Sadly, with the pandemic still raging, I fear that we will have to cancel or certainly delay the Spring Exhibition in March but hope that we will be able to hold the Autumn Exhibition later in the year.

AGM

We are considering postponing the AGM until April to see if the government’s review of restrictions will allow us to hold this as a live meeting but if not, we are planning to hold it as an on-line Zoom meeting. Officers’ reports will be issued in advance and there will be time for questions on these by Members.

Workshops and demonstrations

Sally Perella, our Events Co-ordinator, has done a survey and by the end of this month will produce a schedule of demonstrations that should appeal to a range of different interests. They will run one a month until June. We hope that by September we will be able to restart live events at St. Catherine’s Village Hall.

Secondly, we are considering introducing a “meet and chat” event, perhaps once a week or once a fortnight when we get together on-line to share a virtual morning coffee or tea and maybe share what we have been working on.


Exhibitions

Our Exhibitions Secretary, Ingrid Skoglund, and her colleagues are looking at the options of a virtual exhibition considering such things as how we would collect the money from sales, reimburse artists and organise transmission of works to buyers. Would collection in person work?

Submission of works by those who wish to become Exhibiting Members

Last year we had to suspend the usual process of submitting works and having them reviewed. However, this year we are hoping that by the end of July we will be able to proceed as normal. Again, we will review the situation in three months’ time and if necessary, see if we can devise an online alternative.


The Newsletter

Over the lockdown the internet has been invaluable in enabling us to keep in touch with family and friends. The Committee think this is the way forward for the Society. We are planning a bulletin to be sent out by email every month to keep you up to date with all activities. It has been given the title of the GAS Pipeline! We have made the decision to stop the Newsletter, which is expensive to edit, print and post. There are a few members who still do not have internet access and they will continue to receive the bulletin by mail.

In the past, we sent postal mail to Life Members but we hope you understand the need for this to cease.

The Committee

There are changes afoot with the Committee. Ingrid Skoglund will remain as Exhibition Secretary but will stand down as Vice Chairman. We are delighted that Melanie Cambridge has agreed to be co-opted onto the Committee and will take on this role. Two new members co-opted some months ago are David and Cecilia Sprot. David is a retired Finance Director with Inchcape who took up painting “when released for good behaviour”! Cecilia has a Masters Degree in Information Systems and a Fine Art Degree from Farnham Art College. Both are interesting artists. Google David Sprot and you will see their work. Both are very experienced in curating and organising exhibitions and they will be a great asset to the Society.

All three will be standing for election at the AGM. Marylin McNie will stand down as Newsletter Editor and David Sprot has agreed to take on the job of producing the new GAS Pipeline.

The Committee send their good wishes to you. Keep painting and keep safe.



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