Notes and images taken on Friday 4th February 2022
Once again Coronavirus, this time in the form of the new Omicron variant, meant that the AGM has had to be held via Zoom. There were relatively few members able to attend in this way but members will receive this in their Newsletter via email.
At the start of the meeting, Peter Tuitt, the Chairman, began by remembering Graham Scandrett, who had been the President of FCSA for many years. Sadly, Graham died on 20th November. He was a great artist and art teacher who gave his time and encouragement to his students, one of whom was Peter himself. FCSA members enjoyed the workshops he used to take over two nights every September in recent years. He was one of life’s true gentlemen and he will be missed by us all.
The Society is very fortunate to have Liz Seward take up the mantle as President, especially as she has had a long-established relationship with Frimley & Camberley Society of Arts ever since 1979. In fact, she has held the role of Chairman and for many years she was the Exhibition Secretary. She taught watercolour and mixed media for 14 years at France Hill Adult Education. She is a member of the Society of Women Artists, and she exhibits regularly at the Mall Galleries, the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and the Society of Floral Painters.
Peter Tuitt explained that the Coronavirus had impacted the Society’s programme again this year however it was possible to hold the Annual Exhibition in September rather than in July. The Annual Exhibition for this coming year has been booked at High Cross and will be held in September again, on Thursday 1st, Friday 2nd, and Saturday 3rd September.
The new brackets for the display panels, designed by Terry Ralph, were used this year. Terry was only meant to oversee and direct the installation of the panels but because of the lack of helpers on the Thursday morning Terry ended up putting the panels together himself, thankfully with help from Alan Stoney and a few other members.
Thank you, Alan Stoney, and the other helpers but as none of us is getting any younger, Peter stressed that there will have to be more volunteers to help with the installation this coming year 2022.
The prize winners at last year’s exhibition were:
The Winsland Prize won by Lesley Kilner for “Mouse”.
The Theme Competition, Lockdown Dreams, won by Olga Salgado, for “Changes in Life.”
The Committee prize, The Theme of Water, won by Tracey Allen for “Water”.
The Gerry & Jill Seward Award, also known as the People’s Choice, was won by Lesley Kilner.
Peter Tuitt announced that there will be a new prize available this year, the Val Brookes Prize for the best pastel in show, which is kindly donated by Val’s husband.
John Stacey has been the Membership Secretary for more than ten years. Peter announced that in recognition of John’s years of service he was being awarded Honorary membership.
John said he had enjoyed his time as Membership Secretary, but all good things must come to an end and he felt it was time to hand over to a fresh pair of hands. Craig Whitehead has offered to take on the role and John said he would be perfect for the job.
John gave the following Membership Secretary’s Report: “Membership in 2021 fluctuated between 75 and 84, the number of members at the end of the year being 81. However, 8 members have not renewed for the coming year, but we have one new member this year already. This means that the total at the start of 2022 is 74.”
Val Painter, the Honorary Secretary, said that in the past year the committee had met eight times. Four of these meetings were via Zoom and the rest were either at Peter Tuitt’s house or at the studio. She outlined briefly the wide-ranging topics of these meetings and thanked Olga Salgado for facilitating all the Zoom demonstrations and meetings that took place over the year.
Lesley Kilner, the Honorary Treasurer, began her report with these words: “We are very lucky that the club has acquired a very solid financial foundation over the years. This has meant that we have been able to weather the Covid storm without having to worry about insolvency. We have spent some of our assets on bringing our display boards up to a good health and safety standard with new secure floor brackets. These will serve us for many years to come although we have written off the expense in the one financial year.”
Please see the AGM Minutes for the full report and the Spreadsheet that has already been sent to the membership by email.
Olga Salgado, the FCSA webmaster, provided interesting graphs to illustrate the amount of traffic that the website received during 2021. It was clear that the on-line Christmas and Spring Exhibitions and the Annual Exhibition produced peaks of interest. Olga urged members to use the website regularly to keep up to date with the latest news and any changes to the FCSA calendar, as Covid has meant changes were inevitable.
Sue Whitehead, the Vice Chairman, described the plans for the coming year. There are five Zoom demonstrations already booked. (These are listed in the calendar inside the membership card). There are plans to exhibit both at the Annual Exhibition and at other events. There is an exciting new initiative for Friday night studio sessions when members will share their skills and expertise in different areas. DYOT remains an option. There are also plein air painting days, and it is hoped members might enjoy meeting up to go to some of the art exhibitions that take place during the year.
At the Election of the Executive Committee the whole committee were returned unopposed, with the exception of John Stacey, who was retiring from the office of Membership Secretary and from the committee after very many years. Craig Whitehead was nominated to take over John’s role and he was unanimously elected. Craig reflected on the size of the shoes he would be expected to fill and hoped he would be able to do nearly as good a job.
The other items on the Agenda will be covered in separate news items in individual News posts.