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Report on OVAS AGM Fri 1st March 2019

also including a) the competition and b) Simon Gray's talk



1. Apologies

Apologies were recorded from the following members: Erica Wilson, Ann Willoughby, Tracey Rapson, Jacqueline Ward, Maureen Stone, Gill Kirby, Bill King and Chloe Brice.

28 members were in attendance.


2. Minutes of the AGM of Friday 9th March 2018

These were accepted as an accurate record and a copy signed by Penny Lamb, chairperson of the society.  

Mariette Rennie with Penny Lamb [L] Phil Creek & Mike Bird
The Griffin Trophy

3. Matter Arising

Mike Bird, treasurer, drew attention to the item regarding the proposed purchase of a VDU, or television which the society might have installed as a fixture in the Institute. Now that the society has purchased a new, more powerful, video projector, this will not be necessary and the chair of the Institute committee has been duly informed.

4. Welcome address by Phil Creek, President of OVAS

Phil Creek addressed the meeting and started by thanking the committee for their work in sustaining the activities of the society.

Phil, who is well known for his work in oils and gouache, has recently rediscovered the pleasure of working in acrylics and he is looking forward to his forthcoming demonstration evening where the society will learn more of this and other aspects of his recent work.

He recommended our 2019 programme of events , which will, as ever, offer ideas and inspiration for our members.

5. Chairperson’s report

Penny Lamb offered her thanks to our President for his continuing hands-on support for the society in particular at the summer exhibition where his help with the event and donation of a raffle prize in aid of the Ottery Help Scheme were so much appreciated.


She reiterated Phil’s thanks to the committee.

Mention was made regarding

    i) the work of Terry Davies, assisted by his daughter, in ensuring that the society has not and will not fall foul of the recently tightened up national legislation on data protection.

   ii) the work of Maureen Stone in securing the services of an interesting range of demonstrators and workshops over 2018. These have included Rebecca de Mendonca, Adrian Sykes and “en plein air” sessions with Nick Watton and at the Sidbury allotments, which were particularly popular.

  iii) The work of Chris Poole with maintaining our web-site and organising coverage of our activities in the local press. Chris took the floor to explain the importance of sending him material and examples of our recent work to upload to the web-site, keeping it lively and informative. He also drew attention to the extensive coverage given in the newly published “East Devon Resident” (a supplement to the East Devon and Sidmouth Herald local papers) which includes photos of members’ work and interviews with members at the Tuesday Group [see article here]

Penny concluded her remarks by asking for more support on the committee, where there are vacancies. She noted that societies which have folded have done so for lack of people willing to take on management roles rather than lack of interest or running out of money.

She informed members that, unfortunately, it will be necessary to increase the subscription rate from the current £20 per year to £30 per year in 2020. This year’s renewals and the rate for new members joining before the closing date for exhibition entries in July will stay at £20. New members joining after this date will have to pay the new rate of £30, but this will include their membership up to the end of 2020. It was noted, from the floor, that even at £30 membership represented really outstanding value - and nobody disagreed.

6. Treasurer’s Report

Mike Bird presented the accounts for 2018, copies of which were circulated at the meeting. This showed a small loss on the year of £49. The accounts have been signed off by Penny Lamb and have been audited by Hugh MacGregor. The increase in subscriptions will enable a good range of activities, including bringing in demonstrators from further afield if required for diversity, as well as rebuilding our reserves after the purchase of the projector. This latter is an example of how we should have a care as to the depreciation of our assets for the future financial health of the society

Mike proposed Hugh MacGregor to act as our auditor again in 2019, which was seconded by Chris Poole. There were no dissenting voices to this proposal and it was therefore carried.

Simon Gray's wood-carved duck

7. Membership secretary’s report

Last year at the AGM we had 74 paying members and 3 life members. As of the date of this meeting we have 65 paying members and 4 life members, the latter including Hazel Abley who has actively supported the society, including as chairperson, for many years, but is now, sadly, in poor health.

We may hope to build up our membership again over the coming year. Existing members were asked to spread the word and help enrol new members if they can.

8. Programme secretary’s report

Maureen Stone’s report was read out in her absence. This included a reminder of our 2018 activities, noting, inter alia, that Ken Appleton won the Griffin trophy at last year’s AGM, our appreciation to the exhibition judge, Rod Ashman and how people had enjoyed the painting day at the Sidbury allotments.

We now look forward to a full programme of events in 2019, including James Tatums’s workshop giving guidance how to create expressionist landscapes.

9. Election of committee members

The meeting unanimously endorsed the continuation of the existing committee members in their roles for 2019

Penny Lamb appealed for more members to volunteer for the committee and expressed thanks to:

Simon Gray, proposed by Jacqueline Ward, seconded by Mike Bird


Stan Browning, proposed by Terry Davies and seconded by Pauline Hatfield

duly voted on to the committee, there being no dissenting votes.

Furthermore Mariette Rennie will be invited to the next committee meeting, as an observer in the first instance.


10. Any other business

     i)  Mariangela Williams suggested a replacement for the cancelled critique evening and perhaps two such meeting in future years. The Committee will consider this suggestion and arrange it if reasonably practicable.

    ii) Mariette Rennie suggested more diversity of demonstrators. The last few have been landscape artists. We will try to get more people who work in 3D or who espouse abstraction as subject matter for the future.

The formal AGM closed at 8.30

Talk by Simon Gray

Simon rounded off proceedings by giving a fascinating illustrated talk on how he creates his amazingly lifelike wooden duck sculptures. His powers of detailed observation were demonstrated very vividly and marvelled at by all those present. It was also a chance for the society to see the new projector in operation. Simon very generously waived a fee for his talk and so £40 was sent instead to the Ottery Help Scheme, OVAS's nominated charity for the year.

The Griffin Trophy

This year the theme was “transport”. The trophy was awarded by popular vote to Mariette Rennie. Phil Creek presented the award and congratulated Mariette for her fine piece of work.

Otter Vale Art Society

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