I first became aware of Kate's work when I began volunteering at NEA's original home at 90 Bridge Street. Each week I would find my eyes drawn to a wonderful painting of a little white chook preparing to forage in the soil titled 'Combing' I imagined it on the brick wall in my kitchen, but sadly it disappeared. I was thrilled when it emerged again again after our move to 122 Bridge Street. and decided that I didn't want it to disappear again, I wanted it on my wall! It now sits there happily, welcoming me when I go into the kitchen.,
Kate Jenvey's 'Combing' and 'Munchin', on display at NEA's first home 90 Bridge Street, 2015
Since then I have enjoyed monitoring Kate's work through her changing exhibits at NEA; often chatting to her when she volunteers or calls in to restock her cards, through Facebook and her web page. In January I attended Kate's drawing workshop on drawing birds. It proved to be a nostalgia trip, taking me back to primary school and the drawing tasks suggested by the Gould League of Bird Lovers. It was so therapeutic, being quietly guided by Kate as I drew my first bird for many years.
Like other NEA members, I greeted news of Kate's preparation for an exhibition at the Benalla Art Gallery in February 2017 with great excitement. 'Drawn to the Wild' was a beautiful exhibition and extremely well received in our community. From a busy opening, attended by many NEA members, Kate went on to take a drawing workshop 'Depicting the Wild' and to speak to a number of groups, including U3A Benalla.
Photographs: Kate at Exhibition Opening - Tim Bowtell;
Depicting the Wild Workshop and presentation to U3A Benalla - Benalla Art Gallery.
Kate's website www.katejenvey.com recently included news of her Highly Commended award in the inaugural National Equine Art Prize for the painting, 'Thundering Hooves'. This new national art prize, auspiced by Manfield District Racing Club, was a great success, attracting entries from all over Australia.
Kate, pictured with artist Tony Pridham, receiving her award....
Photograph: Melissa Crow (Youlissys Creative)
Kate's drawing, "Leopard on the Move", has been selected for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year to be held at the Mall Galleries in London this June. Kate was thrilled when this appeared on her facebook site.....
Kate is increasingly part of the 'world stage' in her genre. I feel so lucky to have been able to get to know her at NEA. I will continue to follow her career with interest and will also continue to enjoy and treasure her painting of the little white chook 'combing' which I have on my wall..
An occasional blog by Beverley Lee, May 2017
*'The Occasional Blogger' is open for submissions by NEA members.
If you have an idea for a blog and would like to discuss it, or have copy ready to submit, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 25 February, 10am-4pm
Benalla Art Gallery - Simpson Gallery
Benalla Art Gallery Members $50, non-members $55
Open to teens and adults.
Bookings essential: 03 5760 2619
Image: Kate Jenvey, Watch your back 2016, graphite on paper
Kate Jenvey: Drawn to the Wild
Exhibition closes 2 April 2017,
Simpson Gallery, Benalla Art Gallery
"Kate Jenvey is an internationally renown artist who creates highly detailed images of wild animals and birds. From the artist’s early childhood in East Africa, nature has been a source of wonder and excitement leading to a great respect for the natural world. Kate’s use of coloured and graphite pencils precisely capture the detail, nuances and intricate structures in a manner that honours nature’s beauty."
The January workshop program is almost over. With so much on offer it felt rather like a 'summer school program'.! Marg Zaal's concept of running simultaneous drawing workshops to small groups in the events room gallery worked really well and was received very positively by both presenters and participants. Thank you to Marg and all NEA artisans who presented these workshops.
The ambience and discrete working spaces in the events room gallery inspired Marg Zaal to develop the drawing workshop format pictured during the second in a series of three workshops on January 13th. Marg's vision - of three small group workshops by artists with different drawing specialities, offered on three different occasions to allow participants to chose more than one - worked really well..
While some NEA members have headed towards the sunshine during the winter months, others have been quite involved at NEA, There has been an active workshop program throughout June and July, NEA artisans have been exhibiting work in the region and some artisans have been winning awards. New artisans have applied to be represented in the gallery, with some already on the gallery roster. Artisans and others have been collecting firewood to keep warm at home as well as volunteering at the gallery, which has been able to be warmed up sufficiently to be comfortable.
Over the winter months I've enjoyed helping to develop our new website. Designed by Tim Bowtell and supported by Tim Gardner it moved from being a test site to the http://northeastartisans.org web address in June. The Artisans pages on the drop down menu are a real strength of the new website - providing currently exhibiting artisans with an additional opportunity to exhibit their work and provide contact details. If you haven’t been approached or included yet, please contact Tim Bowtell with (any or all of) three photos of your work, some introductory ‘bio’ wording/ideas and contact details/URL addresses for links.
The entrance gallery space is evolving into a first point of call when people come to NEA. It's also a space in which artisans often meet, work and share ideas and about their work and philosophies about the arts and crafts in general.
Cornelia Selover can often be found working in the entrance gallery area. I enjoy questioning Cornelia about her work and in the week of the traumatic killings in Nice was particularly moved by the story behind her work 'A feather fell' (pictured below), inspired by reactions of a friend after the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris.
Tim Bowtell and Deb Dodd have made weekends at NEA particularly enjoyable and productive for those attending their workshops over the winter months. Tim's Oil Painting - Beginners workshop series is now into it's fourth session.
By August 7th, Deb will have presented two Beginners' workshops and three Bring Your Own Mosaic workshops in just two months - with grouting sessions as well. I've decided that mosaics suit my impressionistic temperament and have thoroughly enjoyed Deb's beginners' sessions.
In addition to these NEA workshops, NEA artisans Annie Longmuir and Cornelia Selover are presenting workshops at Benalla Gallery - Annie is in the midst of a series involving creative knitting, while Cornelia will be presenting life Drawing sessions at the Benalla Gallery on Saturdays 13th, 20th and 27th of August from 1 - 4 pm. Kate Jenvey enjoys running workshops both at NEA and in her studio at home, however is currently focusing her attention on producing works for a solo exhibition to be held at Benalla Art Gallery early next year.
As an 'as needed' non-artisan volunteer in the gallery it is such a privilege to meet new artisans exhibiting in the Gallery. Garth Mitchell, a maker of superbly crafted wooden walking sticks, brought his work in last week while I was on duty, while new artisan Amanda Green, who is exhibiting thoughtfully produced, high quality bees wax candles under the label 'Ladybug Green' 'Goodies inspired by nature' also called by.
It's also wonderful to hear that works we have come to treasure have found the right buyer, such as with sculptor Shaun Murphy's coffee table. We will miss it. .
During June and July I've visited two exhibitions in Wangaratta featuring NEA artisans Elaine Murphy - in the intriguing 'Inking the Flyleaf' exhibition at the Baintz Gallery at Wangaratta Library - and Carol Sonogan in the inspirational 5th Biennial Petite-Miniatures Textiles exhibition at the Wangaratta Art Gallery. I've written about Elaine's work in an earlier post. Carol's petite-miniature textile was just as beautiful as I was told it would be. Artists from around the country participate in this project, displaying contemporary textiles that are no larger than 30x30x30cm. Carol currently has a number of her petite embroideries on exhibition and sale in the NEA gallery - including one titled 'Winton Wetlands' pictured on the left among her other pieces currently on show.
NEA's Facebook page is a great place to catch up with artisan news - for example, over the solstice months we read that Kate Jenvey had won the 'Best Drawing' prize at the Flinders Art Show and also read about Annie Longmuir's second prize for her entry of home spun art yarns at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show. .
Monthly Friday night 'Table Top Games at NEA' games nights have swung into action during the winter months. Our Facebook page has photos of the events and reminders of date, but there is also a dedicated Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/TabletopGamesatNEA/
Only another month of winter! Just before spring starts we'll be able to head out to the 23rd Annual Bald Archy's Prize at Swanpool - 20th August to September 2nd - Tim Bowtell's entry is likely to get lots of local support in the 'People's Choice' category.
On a final note... establishing a 'Friends of NEA' group would provide a way for non-artisan members of NEA to make a more defined contribution to NEA's continuing existence and development. Initial research into 'Friends... Inc' based groups seems to be a good idea as a starting point - it appears, for example, it's important to have a distinctive structure and a separate bank account for fundraising. If you would like to join in the process of background research and preparing for a first general meeting to gain expressions of interest in joining 'Friends of NEA', please contact me at email@example.com or leave a message at 0478 607 838. Perhaps next winter there'll be news to post from 'Friends of NEA'.
**'The Occasional Blogger' is open for submissions by NEA members who may, from time to time, have a strong urge to write about NEA for this column!.
If you would like to develop your drawing skills using colour pencils, then come along to this session. Bring your smile and your pencils and learn how to mix colours, layer and blend to achieve stunning results.
SIMPLE TOOLS ... LOTS OF FUN... GREAT RESULTS
North East Artisans, Saturday 28th May, 10 am to 1 pm.
For bookings contact Kate: 0413 992 581 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEA News Blog