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Summer 2020 Update

This week there should have been the Frimley & Camberley Society of Arts 59th Annual Exhibition at High Cross Church. The Coronavirus has meant that all our plans, meetings, demonstrations and events have had to be cancelled since the lockdown in March.

Nonetheless, the committee has held two futuristic committee meetings via Zoom. The first meeting was to progress the new look website which was launched at the beginning of July. This week the committee met again to consider how to best serve the membership during lockdown.

2020 Lockdown Exhibition

The committee discussed the possibility of organising an online exhibiting of members’ paintings, especially those that might have been done during the lockdown, by putting it on the new website. Olga Salgado and Steve Hammatt attended the meeting and offered to upload paintings into an exhibition area.

If interested, people would need to take good quality photographs of their artwork. The minimum size necessary to work well on the website is 1024 x 768 pixels, but bigger would be better. Once you have saved the photos onto your computer it would be a question of submitting them in an email to gallery@fcsaonline.org.uk. In the accompanying email there would need to be the following information:

  1. Artists name, Title of the painting, Size of the painting, and Medium
  2. Price of painting if offered for sale or clearly indicating NFS (Not For Sale)
  3. On the Exhibition web page there will be a notice advising that if anyone wishes to purchase a painting or commission work from an artist, then to contact the society via gallery@fcsaonline.org.uk and the message will be passed to the artist.
  4. Artists will be responsible for agreeing the sale, and for the collection or dispatch of the paintings themselves.

There would be no hanging fees or commission fees on this occasion. Primarily the idea is to offer members of the society an opportunity to share and exhibit their work online. It would also help to promote the society through the website and keep everyone connected over the period when we cannot meet up.

Adult Education Art Studio

Camberley Adult Education Centre has informed us that it intends to re-open in September. The committee discussed the possibility of FCSA meeting again on a Friday if the art studio was made Covid-19 safe. It was agreed that we should find out from the membership how many people would be likely to attend if the Society were to open up again in September.

It was also acknowledged that even if we could socially distance to paint together we would not be able to hold demonstrations safely because more people would have to be sitting in a very confined space. It was suggested that it might be possible to arrange a Zoom demonstration online and we wondered if this would interest members. Since the demonstrator would expect payment, there would need to be a method of charging people to attend via a paid portal.

Survey Of Members

It would be very helpful if you could complete the following survey and return it to carolehead@waitrose.com. Just cut & paste these questions with your answers into an email. If you would like to add any comments please feel free to do so.

Do you like the idea of an online exhibition? YES/NO

Would you want to participate? YES/NO

If the studio were open on Friday nights in September would you attend? YES/NO

Would you be interested in a Zoom demonstration? YES/NO

Have you used Zoom already? YES/NO

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Sketching with UNICEF

Our Chairman Peter Tuitt’s son has been a member of FCSA for some time. As the Field Security Advisor at UNICEF Afghanistan he has been sketching some of the interesting scenes he comes across during the course of his work.

If you follow the link below I am sure you will find this article interesting and enjoy seeing some of his sketches

https://www.unicef.org/afghanistan/stories/staff-creativity-unleashed-amid-covd19

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New Website Launch

Sam Dauncey has been our webmaster for the past twenty years and anyone who has looked at the FCSA website will know that it is like a compendium of all the happenings within the society over those years.

A huge debt of thanks must go to Sam Dauncey for creating and maintaining the website and for all the work he has put into keeping it updated all this time. Thank you, Sam.

In May 2016 there were 2859 pages made up of HTML and Javascript. There must be considerably more now. Sam informed the committee that the system he was using was obsolete and the search was on to find a new platform that would work well on iPads and iPhones. However, it became clear that to translate all the pages on this website into a new programming language would take hours of work and cost the society a large sum of money.

After exploring a number of different ideas, the society was fortunate that one of our members, Olga Salgado and her husband Steve Hammatt offered to help build a new website from scratch. The old website will be archived and available to members on a memory stick.

The new website was launched on Wednesday 1st July. Grateful thanks to Olga and Steve for volunteering their expertise and for leading the subcommittee in creating the new look website.

The new website is accessed from exactly the same web address at https://www.fcsaonline.org.uk.

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Brian Richardson 90th Birthday Celebration

Brian Richardson celebrated his 90th birthday in March, and on the Friday before his birthday all those at the studio celebrated with him with some birthday cake.  Many happy returns Brian.

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Royal Surrey County Hospital Exhibition

7th February – 6th March 2020

The Exhibition in the Peter Thompson Gallery of the hospital was organised by Val Painter.  It proved very successful.  There were 42 paintings in the hang and of those five were sold. 

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Heritage Gallery

There is a new hang in the Heritage Gallery which is part of the Surrey Heath Museum located opposite Argos in Camberley Mall.

The painting exhibition is upstairs where the Thursday lunchtime lectures take place. There are also some artists’ cards for sale.

BREAKING NEWS Due to the Coronavirus the Heritage Gallery has been closed for the foreseeable future.

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Committee 2020

At the AGM at the beginning of this year the Committee agreed to stand again. The Committee is as follows:

Chairman Peter Tuitt
Acting Vice Chairman Sue Whitehead
Treasurer Lesley Kilner
Honorary Secretary Val Painter
Membership Secretary John Stacey
Newsletter Editor Carole Head
Additional Member Marie Bunce
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Christmas Party

This event is always well attended and very enjoyable. Members of the committee set up the outer room with festive table decorations and everyone brought a marvellous selection of food. Jenny Colquhoun produced another of her cleverly designed Christmas Quizzes.

The presents everyone brought were raffled off and the money raised was given to the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.

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Members’ Critique

This year the Members’ Critique did not go as planned. On arrival people discovered that both the gates to the Adult Education Centre were locked with heavy padlocks. The key that is meant to be available in the studio was nowhere to be found. In the confusion quite a few members decided to call it a day and returned home. A few intrepid members parked on France Hill Park Drive and used the pedestrian gate to access the Adult Education site.

The critique went ahead with a smaller group of members than usual but John Stacey and Brian Richardson ensured that the paintings below were held up for discussion and constructive criticism by the gathered audience.

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AGM 2020

This year the AGM (7th January 2020) was well attended. A copy of the Minutes has gone out to all the members. Here are some of the key issues that were covered at the meeting:

  • Peter was pleased to announce that the Committee decided at the beginning of the year to award Jenny Colquhoun and Brian Richardson Honorary Membership in recognition of all their efforts and hard work over the years.
  • The Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice charity raffle at the Annual Exhibition raised £234.82 for the Brush with Art group. The prize was a framed painting by our President, Graham Scandrett. The Christmas raffle, organised by Jenny Colquhoun, raised another £94.00 for Phyllis Tuckwell.
  • Sam Dauncey our Webmaster has done a wonderful job of keeping our website running but it is old technology and Sam now feels it is time for him to step down. A new website is being constructed by a sub-committee with the help of Olga Salgado and her partner. For the time being the old website remains online.
  • The Society has purchased a Square Reader to take credit and debit card payments in the hope that this will facilitate sales of paintings at the Surrey Heath Show, Camfest and the Annual Exhibition. There is a 1.75% transaction fee. This will be a trial year and the fee will come out of the Society’s commission.
  • The Surrey Heath Show will be on May 16th this year. FCSA will be in the marquee as usual but this year Camfest plan to be there too. They intend to have an Arts & Crafts exhibition and workshops. They hope to have about ten local arts and crafts groups taking part; the Girl Guides will sell tea and cakes again and it is planned to have local school choirs performing during the course of the day.
  • Last year FCSA participated in Camfest for one day in Camberley Main Square where Les Patey and some students gave members of the public a chance to try some watercolour painting. Camfest also borrowed 33 of our display panels for the U3A exhibition that Ann Bullimore organised in the council offices which raised the princely sum of £400 for the Society.
  • The Annual Exhibition this year will be held on 16th, 17th and 18th July in High Cross Church. At the AGM the title of the themed competition was put to a vote and it was decided it would be “WATER”.
  • As well as the permanent exhibition of FCSA paintings at the Heritage Gallery, Lesley Kilner has arranged with the Museum for there to be a display in the front window from 24th October to 23rd December 2020. Members are encouraged to paint for the theme of “Woodlands”. It is an opportune time of year for Christmas presents and all work should be for sale.
  • Late news – a possible new exhibition. Peter Tuitt has a meeting on February 13th with Camfest and Major Harry Stow at Frimley Army Cadet Centre, with the view to holding an exhibition on 20th June in the main hall, a very impressive building, which has been called a mini Sandhurst. Watch this space.