If you walked into NEA during first weeks of spring you'd have been able to collect 'free' oranges, grapefruit and silver beet from a box outside the door; hear members talking about the upcoming AGM; found a well attended meeting of NEA's Sustainability Group or noticed all the tables in the events room. pushed towards the centre of the room, together with a large bucket of paint and a paint roller on a long handle, ready for a working bee in the lead up to the late October launch of The Rite of Spring exhibition.
Now into the fourth week of spring, Cornelia's 'Rite of Spring' concept for an exhibition of works, to be held during the Benalla Festival in the events room, is in the 'action stage'. Fliers and entry forms are now available. Working bees have been held in the events room which is now resplendent in a fresh coat of paint much more suited to a gallery space. The extra panels inserted by member Ray Hill in some windows to provide extra hanging space now blend naturally in to what is going to be an even more marketable room for exhibitions and workshops. Renovations will be completed ready for the 'Rite of Spring' exhibition launch on Friday 28th October. Just in case you don't have one - here's a downloadable entry form.
The foyer gallery continues to look inviting and provide the opportunity for NEA members to 'catch up'. It's often quite busy during 'handover time' as artisans changing roster shifts in the gallery can be heard talking about their work, sharing news of art shows and online resources suited to their work; and generally chatting about this and that.
The AGM, held on September 15 in the events room, provided a rich overview of NEA's growth and development to date. President Tim Schloss began the meeting by telling us about an inspirational meeting recently in Grafton with a founding member of the Emporium, a cooperatively run space for artisans. A visit to the Emporium during their honeymoon 16 years ago provided the seed for Tim and Ruth's passion for the ongoing development of NEA, and for their delight at the interest taken in what is happening at NEA by the person they met at the Emporium. Margaret Zaal was congratulated on presenting a most informative financial report which will provide a sound basis for future planning and decision making. The contribution of so many in the executive and its many task focused sub groups will continue, with David, Merrilyn and Annie agreeing to join as general members. Members also added their names to provide additional support to committee members whose burden needs some lifting. There is lot's more to report, but a better place to look would be in the minutes taken by Annaliese!
The Door of Hope Project is now moving into gear with selection interviews ready. Applicants will be invited to read them an hour before their interviews, to be scheduled in the coming weeks. This will be followed by a busy time with a number of members assisting in the next phase of marketing the program and selecting applicants. The program will largely occur during January and February, culminating in an exhibition in the foyer gallery space during the Wall to Wall Festival in March.
NEA's involvement in Wall to Wall activities in 2017 includes providing the venue for the Benalla Shorts Film Festival previously held at BPACC. Filmmakers take note! Speaking of film-makers, Shane Douthie has written another article about Jake and Sam Bowtells' film 'Slope' (refer previous posts), this time titled 'Ice film hits the mark: local film on the drug ice is set for wider release'.
The Sustainability group has been actively working towards their goal of establishing an edible garden at NEA and is running the first of a series of workshops on topics related to this goal. The first session of two sessions on 'Holistic Decision Making for Community Groups' is only a few days away on Thursday 29th at 5. 30 sharp--it will last for 3 - 4 hours (please bring a plate to share) Read more.
The seasons bring change - two studio spaces are now available--including Deb's light and airy street facing studio. Deb is returning to work in her hilltop studio. We'll still see her at NEA!
There is so much to talk about - but that's just about it from me for now. On a final note, Merv recently recommended the ABC's 'Ahn's Brush with fame'' program on Facebook. It seems both Anh and Merv prefer painting with other than traditional paint brushes--Anh uses cake decorating tools, his fingers, various trowels and more..... You can catch past episodes on ABC iview.
**'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!.