The future of NEA - a message from the management committee to NEA Artists, Artisans, Volunteers and Members
Dear Artists, Artisans, Volunteers and Members,
Recently we asked for your feedback about NEA’s next steps and whether we should stay at our current premises. Thank you for the well-considered responses we received.
The overwhelming majority of the feedback confirmed our previous decision to vacate the current premises. Taking this into consideration, the North East Artisans Management Committee has voted to depart the premises located at 122-124 Bridge Street East, Benalla.
We have not made this decision lightly but with the best intentions for the interests of our artists, artisans, members, volunteers and the wider communities that make up NEA.
It is with gratitude that we depart our Bridge Street location. It has served us well over many years. A working group is actively seeking a new home for our creative community.
The organisation known as North East Artisans (NEA) will continue!
While our location may change, our organisation continues to grow and thrive. We attribute this to the passion and commitment of our members. We are excited and optimistic about the next stage of NEA’s development, in a new place that will suit our changing needs.
We need our volunteers more than ever. We need leaders to guide us through this period of change. We need admin support, customer service skills, marketing and many hands that will shape our organisation moving forward. This is a time to create, strategise, plan and build an even brighter future. We look forward to seeing the contributions you can make.
We will continue to keep you updated with all forthcoming information.
Yours with a deep appreciation,
NEA Management Committee.
The good news – we are still hoping that Benalla Rugged Up 2020 will go ahead, with some adjustments. We need to keep in mind the restrictions that may still be in place. Certainly maintaining physical distancing will be necessary. But we think that the town will need the brightening far more this year.
With this in mind, we have taken the following decisions and steps:
If you have any questions, please give me a call or send an email.
Joy Shirley, for the organising group
0417 065 351
NEA, a group of local artisans and like minded people committed to creating a thriving local arts community in north east Victoria, wound down its operations in late March 2020 in accordance with COVID-19 regulations. By late March the Gallery Shop and Red Road Cafe had discontinued operating until further notice, while Exhibitions, Gallery Gigs and Workshops had been cancelled for the foreseeable future.
With little if any new material now being added to the website and NEA's future increasingly a concern in a COVID-19 environment, new work on the website has been discontinued until further notice..
Although the website has been put into hibernation for the foreseeable future. It remains a rich source of information about NEA, its artisans and past activities.
Visitors are encouraged to visit NEA on Facebook which is continuing to share news about NEA's artisans and gallery activities in the North East.
Deb Dodd drew upon this image in responding to a Day in a Week of My Life - Day 1 - B&W Challenge recently. If you would like to find out more about the processes Deb uses to complete cup stack wall hangings, check out this post from on her 'Deb Dodd Mosaics' site..
There are many other process oriented projects on the 'Deb Dodd Mosaics' Facebook page, a terrific resource for beginning mosaic artists looking for inspiration.
Instead of using lockdown ('flattening the curve') for the past 6-8 weeks to get lots of stuff done, we've had a few major things go wrong at our end so have been using the time just to get through the various crises.
Slowly, slowly we've been getting back to "normal" and some of what falls into normal includes putting together a series of 'lessons' on 'Creating Great Characters' to be used in our Broken River Writers Writers' Corner Sessions.
Here is part one.
Creating Great Characters #1
There’s lots of great information out there on creating characters and there are also a multitude of ways to create one and multiple attributes you “should” include.
What makes a character memorable?
Think about characters in books that make you laugh, or cry, have you concerned about their choices. What is it about these characters that grabs you? What is the magic that takes a flat, 2D character and turns them into someone real, someone you’d like to have a coffee with?
So the writing is a part of it. You can create a great character, but if your writing is shite, then the character won’t shine. However, I’m not talking about your writing – if you want to get good, then write a lot and read a lot, even when you don’t feel like it. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.
I believe that a great character needs to be real. They need to have things they are passionate about, they need to have interests and hobbies. They also need to have fears, problems and faults.
Maybe they love horses, hate cats, are allergic to housework, collect books, eat too much chocolate, can’t balance their bank account, always run late, are a clean freak, can’t leave the house unless their perfectly made up, don’t know how to change a tyre, have dirt under their fingernails, are terrified of spiders, aren’t human without coffee...
What I have discovered over the years of writing is that the best way to create a great character is to do so using whatever method/s best work for you. In this series I will share some of mine.
But first, what are the problems I face when it comes to creating a great character? Here are some of mine (NB: I may add to this list over time) –
What about you? What difficulties do you face when creating characters?
Over the years I have discovered that it is very easy to tell somebody how to do it, but sometimes that just isn’t enough, so in this series I’m going share my “Creating Great Characters” journey using these examples of problems I have in several of my ‘in-progress stories.
Hopefully, I will actually create some great characters in the process otherwise it’s going to be a tad embarrassing!
Feel free to comment, message or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with other character issues you have and who knows, maybe I can help.
Last month, with the proviso that the decision would be reviewed, SCRAP's Peter Finney advised artists or budding artists to spend the extra time at home working on an entry for the SCRAP art show "so that if we do go ahead, you will be ready and not have to have a last-minute rush to get ready for this fabulous event which turns recycled materials into wonderful artworks " Peter has now advised that SCRAP has been postponed to August 2021.
"On Monday 4 May 2020, the Swanpool Creative Recycled Arts Prize (SCRAP) Working Group had their regular meeting. In these times of social isolation, the group has been meeting via Zoom, an on-line tool that enables us all to call in from home using video-conferencing technology.
Whilst preparations have been underway for this major arts event in Swanpool for several months, and based on advice from the Commonwealth Government, the working party has unanimously decided to postpone this year’s event until August 2021. This decision is also supported by a recent survey of many of the 80 volunteers who worked on the 2019 event, the majority of who also decided we should wait until the all-clear is given. This decision has not been taken lightly and will mean that local community groups will not receive a share of the profits this event would have generated this year.
But rest assured, SCRAP will be back in 2021 – the actual dates will be published after the next S&DCDA Committee Meeting. Thankyou for all the volunteers who have worked so hard so far to get our event to this stage. And thanks to the artists who have been busy at work creating WOW from Waste.
Stay safe, and we look forward to bringing SCRAP to North-East Victoria again in 2021.
NEWS Update - SCRAP 2020* - At this stage SCRAP 20 is going ahead from August 1 to 19 2020 as planned
"Since our last update on the Swanpool Creative Recycled Art Prize (SCRAP) in January this year, the world has changed enormously. We are currently in the amidst of a global pandemic that nobody could have imagined, so please do your bit to stay safe. Whilst I do normally work from home in Lima South, even I am getting cabin-fever during this lock-down. Plenty of time to plan for the future…
The threat of Covid-19 is all around us, and we ask that you remain diligent; stay home over Easter and socially isolate yourself. These are the things that we can all do to bring this virus under control so that our health system does not become over-whelmed and collapse under the strain.
The Swanpool Community, whilst isolated itself within regional North-East Victoria, is fully aware of what we all need to do to stay safe. And the SCRAP Working Group is putting the health and safety of volunteers and visitors to our annual are exhibition as the number one priority right now.
Earlier this week we all met via Zoom, an on-line conference call tool that allows us to not only see each other on-line, but also talk through the possibility that we might need to cancel this year’s event, scheduled for August 1 - 19, with the Gala Opening Evening on Friday July 31. The working group has decided to continue with planning this event until we next meet in four weeks - so this is good news!
AT THIS STAGE SCRAP 2020 IS GOING AHEAD FROM AUGUST 1 TO 19 2020 AS PLANNED
If you are an artist or budding artist, we encourage you to spend the extra time at home working on an entry, so that if we do go ahead, you will be ready and not have to have a last-minute rush to get ready for this fabulous event which turns recycled materials into wonderful artworks . Visit Swanpool and District Community Development Association's website for entry details and online entry form, and keep your creative juices flowing.
We will review our decision as we get closer to August, depending on advice from our government and health authorities. We will however, not compromise the health and safety of our volunteers and visitors.
We will also keep you informed each month now leading up SCRAP, and you can give use feedback via our Facebook Group ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/2474466172784350/ ) as well - we would love to hear from you.
I will send out another update early in May - in the meantime, have a safe and relaxing Easter.
Swanpool & District Community Development Association
Sunday April 12 2020
Exhibition: Saturday 1 August - Sunday 16 August 2020
Gala Opening Friday evening 31 July 2020
Albury City Council is developing a Maker Space and Creative Industries Incubator at the old Pump House on Waterworks Road, Albury. and is seeking feedback from artists and craftspeople in the Albury-Wodonga Region.
The facility will include a range of equipment and machinery to support art and craft making and production within a variety of contexts. Albury City believes the PumpHouse will nurture the development of creative industries and provide a space not only for the creation of art but also for experimenting, learning and networking.
A document is currently being developed to define how the PumpHouse will work including general management, access, staffing, programming and membership models etc.
The Council would like to hear from artists and craftspeople - professional, hobby, emerging - to discover who's out there, what they need and how a facility like this can play a role in developing the cultural sector more broadly.
The PumpHouse Artists and Craftspeople Survey is now available:
If you would like to discuss the PumpHouse in more detail, contact
Facilitator // Consultant // Adviser
Arts, Culture, Heritage and Community
Play Your Part
0438 807 973
The pumps at the now decommissioned Albury PumpHouse were first turned on in January 1886, supplying a reliable source of running water to Albury for the first time. In May 2019 Albury & District Historical Society members were able to see the historic pump house in something close to its original state. and hear news of its future development as a creative makers space.
Photographs: Albury District Historical Society
Not sure whether NEA has received this information. We've been in touch
with Catherine about promoting our business and she was wondering whether there
are others from NEA who would also wish to.
Tim & Ruth Schloss
STOP PRESS! 'BUY FROM BENALLA' - NEW ONLINE MARKET PLACE COMING SOON
Council has been working hard behind the scenes to support local retailers. We have come up with a new concept for an online one stop Buy Local marketplace with deliveries straight to your customers door.
Thanks to local tech startup Issimo Markets, in partnership with Midland Freight, Regional Development Victoria and Startup Shakeup we are just about ready for it to become a reality. Benalla will trial the concept in this first to market initiative, before it's rolled out across NE Victoria.
1. Register your Interest below
2. You'll then receive a link from Issimo Markets with all the instructions for setting up your page - it's super easy
3. Free training, webinars and phone support is also available
4. Once we have 20 businesses loaded we'll launch and market the site to local residents via letterbox drops and social media plus good news media releases.
5. Businesses will be encouraged to cross promote via their marketing channelstoo #buyfrombenalla.
6. There will be a small delivery fee charged per transaction, which businesses can choose to either absorb or slightly increase your product prices to cover it.
Interested in finding out more? Register your interest below.
*It will go live as soon as we have a minimum of 20 retailers on board - so the sooner we hear from you the better for everyone.
If you'd like to chat more contact Catherine Macmillan on 0418 916 180 .
#buyfrombenalla #togetherwearestronger #collaboration #community #buylocal
Interested in 'Buy from Benalla' online marketplace?
NEA studio artist and exhibitor Merv Beamish clearly enjoys making and using oil pastels and encouraging others to do so. Some years ago Merv offered a fascinating workshop at NEA 'Make your own oil pastels and learn how to use them', a topic already addressed in videos he'd added to You Tube,
(Added in 2016)
(Added in 2013)
What to do when coming to terms with being 'In Isolation' during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Merv has revisited his YouTube Channel, sharing workshop ideas on Facebook and adding them to his YouTube library! There are five new videos to date... Enjoy!
Here's Merv's latest addition - 'Mucking about in digital' - Merv describes '"....mucking around in digital with a new video editor. This is a test to see if I can get it downloaded to YouTube."
Cathy Pianta's portrait of Margaret Olley - 'A Life of Colour' - a prizewinner at Rutherglen's recent Tastes of Art Show
Cathy Pianta's oil pastel 'A Life of Colour' recently won the category ‘Oils, acrylics and mixed media’ at the Rutherglen Tastes of Art Show. 'A Life of Colour’ recognises the work of Margaret Olley and her love of colour and flowers, in particular.
"I love Margaret Olley as a subject and have done several portraits of her, one of which won this year’s Tatong Art Show ‘Works on paper’ category. Margaret was a wonderful Australian artist who took time to mentor and support emerging artists. She had an eye and a love for colour. I’ve used oil pastel for the three portraits I’ve done of Margaret as I am constantly amazed at the way they blend to create layers and layers of unique colours whilst being able to subtly blend to create intimate shades and shadows. I thank Mervin Beamish for getting me hooked on pastels although I work with other media as well.
I’d love to thank the sponsors of the Rutherglen Art Show as Australia needs all the support for the arts we can have."
Cathy's portrait of Margaret Olley - 'A Life of Colour' -
is currently showing in NEA'S
'Unfinished Business' online exhibition .
Detail from Tim Bowtell's Colbinabbin silo project 'Stage 1'.
There is something surreal about this image ...
...where is the train headed? where will it end up? Sound familiar?
Love the use of reflection...
(Photo: Tim Bowtell)
Unfortunately The Weeping Willows Gallery Gig at NEA has been cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic regulations. Hopefully they will play in Benalla in the not too distant future.
The Weeping Willows'
Join Melbourne Americana duos, The Weeping Willows and Great Aunt as they preview songs from their forthcoming albums! 🎶
Who: The Weeping Willows and Great Aunt
When: Saturday 16th May from 6.30pm (TBC)
Where: The Gallery Gigs at North East Artisans, North East Artisans, Benalla, VIC
How Much: $15
The Weeping Willows:
The Weeping Willows, Laura Coates and Andrew Wrigglesworth, are a couple of old souls, steeped in Bluegrass tradition and draped in Gothic Americana imagery. They regale their audiences with stories of sunshine and romance, God and The Devil, murder and decay. Real music.
2015-2020 has seen The Weeping Willows nominated for 5 x CMAA awards, 4 x CMC awards, performing at AmericanaFest (USA), Folk Alliance International (USA), Maverick Festival (UK), Port Fairy Folk Festival and Out On The Weekend plus supporting Lukas Nelson (USA), Hayes Carll (USA), Iris DeMent (USA), Eilen Jewell (USA), Willie Watson (USA), Cory Branan (USA), Kevin Welch (USA), Shane Nicholson and Lachlan Bryan. A Weeping Willows performance, whether live or caught on tape, will always delight.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️s - “Australian Alt. Country at its near-finest...” - Rolling Stone.
Great Aunt is an Americana/Roots duo from Melbourne, Australia, rambling a musical line between the plaintive and the joyous. Their music is raw and austere, simple and bold; full of stomping feet and clapping hands, chants and harmonies, whispered words and soulful lament. Set somewhere between a Gospel Church in Louisiana and a dimly-lit speakeasy in Melbourne, listeners will hear tales of joy and grief, whiskey and wine, gratitude and purpose-seeking.
“Great Aunt gives us folk-based Americana music tinged with shades of Bluegrass and Gospel and capture the true spirit of this genre with their soulful renditions.” - LA Music Critic Blog.
With the closure of the Benalla Art Gallery due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Sofles' Compendium exhibition, an integral part of the planned Wall to Wall 2020 Festival, is now on-line as a virtual tour. To find out more about the exhibition go to https://poly.google.com/view/1OCO92ezljp.
We are mindful that many of you are concerned for the security of your work whilst NEA is closed.
We are therefore organising for some of our wonderful volunteers and committee members to be at NEA at specific times so people can pick up their work.
We ask that you are respectful of our volunteers by practising social distancing and comprehensive hygiene. We also ask that you provide the volunteer with your name and the number of pieces you are taking and sign for the work. If you are not known to the volunteer you will be asked for ID. We are sorry if this causes any offence but it is for your protection.
Anyone needing help with bigger pieces and local delivery, John Holschier will have ute and trailer available tomorrow, Wednesday 25th March between 10 am and midday. If there is anyone younger, with a few muscles who can help, that would be great.
Current collection times are:
Today, Tuesday 24th March 12.30 - 2.30 pm
Tomorrow, Wednesday 25th March 10.00am-12.00 noon
Thursday26th March 3pm-5pm
Friday 27th March 11 am - 4pm
Weekend by negotiation.
We appreciate your understanding
Sally 0438 063185
"Unlock Your Creativity" has been suspended for the foreseeable future.
Participants have thoroughly enjoyed the work with 'air clay' and have created a range of items from doll's furniture to bespoke drawer knobs, bowls, dragons and beads.
"Unlock Your Creativity" is the perfect environment to explore different artistic opportunities in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental atmosphere!
Science is discovering more and more about how artistic pursuit (not the end product) allows our brains to relax, change and process our circumstances in more productive ways. It is therefore excellent for improving mental health and physical well-being whilst having fun and meeting new people.
Why not join us when we are able to reconvene?
$5/ session casual rate
Friday mornings 9.30-12.30 during term time.
You get a say in the type of art we explore!
Dear valued customers, exhibitors and volunteers,
(My apologies to those who receive this twice.)
The NEA Gallery Shop will be closed as of tomorrow, 24th March, until further notice.
This is due to the Government requirement that all non-essential operations close.
TEXTILE ARTISTS with work at NEA are advised to collect their work today or delegate someone with written or email permission to do so. Valerie will be at the shop from 1.30. Please wait outside and respect social distancing.
We will develop a schedule for other artists, who wish to remove their stock, as soon as possible.
Please understand that the management team is working very hard to ensure NEA's future. These are difficult times and circumstances are changing daily.
Feel free to direct enquiries to myself via email: email@example.com
With deep regret,
(on behalf of the management team).
"Last night's Gallery Gig was pretty epic! I'm still trying to find the words to describe it.... @tobymobbsmusic began the night perfectly with his original tunes and then @tim_mcmillan and @wanderingfrog took to the stage and we all lost our minds a wee bit! '...you audience lot are a good bunch for listening with great respect to three hours of live music - 'hype guy' as we've affectionately called him was verbalising everything that we were thinking! What a night! And a reminder as to why I've been doing this. Because music is important. And goddamn it IS a form of art! " Michaela Alexander, Gallery Gigs Coordinator. on Facebook.
Michaela forgot to mention that the night ended with a stirring rendition of 'Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday dear Michaela'... who turns 40 this week!
Thank you so much for inspiring and producing such wonderful Gallery Gigs, Michaela.
Tim Bowtell - 'Greta Thunberg leading the Next Generation' - Upstairs Downstairs Exhibition, Gallery 2 to Saturday 7 March
Title : Greta Thunberg leading the Next Generation (work in progress)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Artist : Tim Bowtell
Although this painting is not finished – there is more to do, the artist Tim Bowtell has kindly agreed to the request to exhibit it for this collection of NEA Studio Artists’ work.
This is a traditional painting with a contemporary and topical subject. Actually, the idea of a traditional painting with a contemporary and topical subject is traditional as well. Artists such as Delacriox, David, Picasso, Arthur Streeton and Juan Davila and an army of others have successfully stung the public consciousness with artworks which bring timeless ideas and values to the fore.
Jacque Louis David’s “The Oath of the Horatii” (1875) depicted a Roman patrician holding swords upward for his sons to take in commitment and pledge to defend Rome. Originally exhibited in the Paris Salon, the painting created a great controversy which carried across to the evolving political climate in France at the time. 1875 was the year of the establishment of the Third Republic in France. The painting now stars in the Louvre.
Arthur Streeton painted “The Last of the Messmates” in 1928. The painting depicts a lone tree standing in a cleared landscape. Cleared as far as the eye can see. The land is littered with the trash of the former Dandenong Ranges forest. Streeton and the Australian painters of his “Impressionist” group focussed on the Australian land, the environment and its particular beauty. “The Last of the Messmates” was a protest painting, foretelling the end of the forestation of the Dandenongs – once called the lungs of Melbourne….
The centre of this composition is Greta Thunberg. The three figures on the ground in blue suits raise their arms and form a pyramid composition drawing the eye to Greta. Behind Greta are her followers. They are all young. She leads them away from the devastation of the landscape ravaged with fires and polluting smoke. The blue suited figures in the foreground attempt to stop Greta, but her eyes are firmly raised above their entreating arms. One of the raised hands holds a lump of coal.
This painting was commenced well before the current fire season began. Some people will find it quite unsettling.
This Saturday (March 7) we are so excited to welcome world class musicians and fine humans Tim McMillan and Rachel Snow to the #gallerygig stage at @northeastartisans 💫
@tim_mcmillan and @wanderingfrog will be bringing all of the songs and stories to your ears! Guaranteed musical magic.
With local support act @tobymobbsmusic this will be a night to remember and we want all you lovers of live music to be there! Support live, original music in Benalla and keep regional towns alive with the sound of music 😜
Tickets - trybooking.com https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=594489&
Manager, 'The Gallery Gigs'
Wall to Wall Benalla Festival
Benalla Street Art Map to 2017
Wots4Me Benalla Youth
Juddy Roller Wall to Wall
Benalla Art Gallery
Shepparton Art Museum
Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance (GANEAA)
Wangaratta Art Gallery
Benalla Camera Club
Broken River Potters
Broken River Painters
Table Top Games at NEA