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OVAS Newsletter October 2017

Dear Members,

I hope that you all had a good summer and that you have found plenty of sources of inspiration to express in new work, whatever your chosen medium may be. As winter approaches, there are a number of issues for our society to address as well as opportunities to expand our activities in the future, which I will come to; but first it is always good to reflect on a successful year so far.

I dare say for most of us the highlight of the year is the annual exhibition. This year we had more exhibits and more visitors than in 2016 so overall, as well as donating the proceeds from the raffle (with prizes generously donated by Phil Creek and Ray Balkwill) and voluntary contributions to the refreshments to Hospicecare, we were able to boost the society’s coffers to the tune of about £330. Lynda Kettle did a fine job of the judging for the various categories for which prizes are awarded. Here is a reminder of who won what:

Alice Comont Cup for sculpture: Simon Gray (Shoveler, male)

Leornard Pargiter award for watercolours: Pat Foster (Barn Owl)

David Young ward for oils: Keith Benge (Evening Light)

Janet Langmaid award for mixed media: Gillian Fitzpatrick (Budleigh Reflections)

The Society Award for Pastels: Brian Wilson (Homweward Bound)

Alwyn Crawshaw award for acrylics: Mike Stevens (Just 2 Mad)

The Otter Award for Drawing: Mike Blakey (Dreaming of Home)

The winner of the popular vote was Terry Davies’ beautiful tranquil scene “Woodbridge Tide Mill”

As ever, photos of all these paintings and some taken at the preview evening can be seen on our web-site. My thanks on behalf of us all go to all those who helped with the publicity, administration and the physical setting up and taking down of the exhibition. Also, of course to the exhibitors and stewards. And finally, my special thanks to Phil Creek our president for his generous donation of one of his original paintings for the charity raffle, his support for the exhibition and of the society generally throughout the year.

At the end of August Tim Walker relinquished his day to day responsibilities as our treasurer as he has moved his home to near Henley-on-Thames, where his wife, Sheila is taking up a new ministry within the Church of England, at least for the next few years. We wish them success and happiness in this new venture. Tim, who has served as our treasurer for ten years, has kindly offered to keep in touch and, for the time being, act as honorary treasurer, providing advice as to the society’s accounts while I shall take over the recording of day to day financial transactions. This does mean, however, that the society will be seeking nominations for the post of Treasurer at the AGM next March and must appoint a suitable person for this role in order to be able to continue functioning. We are also in desperate need of more members to serve on the committee in other capacities, so if you are willing to be nominated please let me or any other member of the existing committee know. Contact details are on your membership cards.

Our AGM for 2018 is on 2nd March. Please make a note of this date for your diaries as it is important for as many members as possible to be present, not least for the appointment of the new committee. The theme for the painting competition this time will be “Dreams”.

During the year we have had some great demonstrations and workshops, thanks to the efforts of Penny Lamb. Penny is busy finding more performers for the future. Please keep an eye on the web-site for details of future events, as well as write-ups and pictures from those in the past. Also the Tuesday painting group at the Cricket Club goes from strength to strength, with more participants than ever enjoying the friendly atmosphere and the opportunity to share ideas and techniques.

Thank you to Chris Poole for keeping the web-site lively and up-to-date. This is a useful and cost efficient way of keeping in touch. I know there are varying degrees to which people wish to get involved with computerised communication systems but bear in mind that a second class stamp now costs 56p. It keeps printing and postage costs down if we can communicate via the web-site and e-mail as much as possible. Due to this, our small profit from the exhibition and generally keeping costs down as much as possible, the society’s annual subscription for 2018 will stay at £20. Please remember that this will fall due on 1st January.

For some years the local Hind Street and, more recently, the Georgian House galleries have exhibited members work and offered it for sale on a monthly rota. These rotas are maintained by committee member Nickie Bitschi and are now due for renewal, so please inform Nickie as soon as possible if you wish to be included.

We now have further offers from local businesses to display members’ work. Tickety Boo, the child friendly coffee shop in Mill Street, has considerable wall space in their new extension due to open in November, which they have offered for our use. In the same street the new Recycled Candle Co has also offered some wall space and small exhibition area. In both cases Mike Stevens and Terry Davies are talking to the owners and working out details such as commission rate, labelling, arrangements for changeover, hanging fees etc. At this stage it would be very helpful if those members who wish to exhibit their work and offer it for sale in these two venues could let Mike or Terry know.

In the last couple of days I have also been approached, via Phil Creek, by the Ottery St Mary Library. I will be following this up, but again it would be useful to know who would be interested in displaying their work in the library and whether this would be conditional on having the work up for sale. If you could let me know in this instance it would be very helpful.

Finally, Christmas will soon be here! We will be having a celebratory lunch for members and their partners at the Hare and Hounds on 1st December, meeting at mid-day, to sit down at 12.30. Please let Nickie Bitschi if you will be coming. We will use the standard menu or carvery so no deposit is required but the venue will need to be informed of numbers as soon as possible.

With very best wishes,

Mike Bird, Chairman

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