President's report



Thank you everyone for attending the AGM.

My first pleasant duty is to thank all the committee members who have so willingly given their precious time and help in all aspects of running the society. and also to all members for supporting the society and hope that we have been able to satisfy the expectations of our constitution which is to foster and develop an interest in Bishop’s Stortford and district Arts by the holding of drawing and painting evenings, demonstrations and other activities including public exhibitions.

We have had quite an eventful year, and thanks to Carole Crosby an interesting and varied programme, we had six demonstrations by professional artists, and three of our members took part in the programme. Unfortunately we had to cancel one of the meetings due to adverse weather where Stephen Lowe had been booked to do a critique. Bill Morris, and Heather Brown both gave us excellent demonstrations, and Ray Whyard did a talk on composition tips. We also had several evenings of life drawing which proved to be very popular.

During the summer we had a very successful outing to Kew Gardens followed by dinner at the Hunters Meet Restaurant.   We were fortunate to have excellent weather for the occasion, and were lucky to receive help with a grant from East Herts Council which paid for the coach. Everyone appeared to have a good time.

We had two very successful exhibitions during the course of the year at the Ecco charity shop and as a result were able to donate £350 towards the charity. We are also indebted to Palmer and Martin who kindly provided the transport for delivering the display stands to and from the exhibition.   Thanks also to the following Yvonne Robinson for dealing with the submission forms , and Eileen Valder for printing the labels. also to all the men who helped erect the stands, and   Barbara Anderson and Nick Dittrich who hung the paintings.   Last and not least Carole Crosby who arranged the stewards roster. Thanks also to all the members who supported the exhibition in submitting their paintings for display.

Thanks also to Ray Whyard and Heather Brown for donating paintings for the raffle prises.

A special thank you goes to Nick Dittrich our publicity officer for designing our Calendar and his hard work in producing the poster and flyers for the exhibitions.

 Carole our programme secretary has completed the programme for this current year and you will find a draft copy of it on the back of the meeting agenda. I think you will agree It looks to be a very interesting and exiting programme. Thank you Carole for your hard work and time in producing it for us. The full programme will be e.mailed or sent to members who don’t have computers, after the meeting.

Some of you will have read in the local paper that East Herts Council have announced that they are going to build a New Arts Centre on the site of the old Charrington’s building. They had a consultation evening on the 20th March, inviting members associated with running the various art groups in the town to attend. At the meeting we were asked what we would like to have included within the art centre and what we didn’t need or want to have. I made a strong request for an Art Gallery for the public to enjoy and as an encouragement to schools and other art organisations to be able to exhibit their work. There will be a press release on the outcome of the arts consultation. The date for the consultation with the general public will be included in the same press release.

Some of you will know Doctor Geoffrey Ensor who was a member of our Art Society who died in February, at the age of 97. His son Christopher approached me about doing something with his paintings. I suggested to him that it may be possible to have an exhibition of his work in the Rhodes upstairs gallery as a tribute to him which he thought was a very good idea. Consequently we were able to have the gallery for a week which Chris Lydamore the curator said we could have free. Although in fact Christopher Ensor made a donation to the Rhodes Foundation as a thank you. Quite a few of his old friends and colleagues visited the exhibition who made entries in the Tribute book. I also sent images of some of his paintings with a biog about Geoffrey for the fortnightly feature in the Bishop’s Stortford Independent newspaper.

In the summer the bar area at Rhodes is going to be repainted and a new hanging system for paintings is to be installed .  I have been asked to join the Rhodes Art Forum committee by the trustees which I have agreed to do. At the moment Rhodes receives quite a substantial grant from the council but when the new art centre is ready the grant will be transferred to the new centre.

As most of you will be aware we attend the monthly farmers’ market where we hire a stall to display paintings and also publicise the society with the object of gaining new members, If you would like to share in running the stall the cost of the stall is £27 a half share therefore would be £13.50 and a quarter share would be £6.75 if anyone is interested please contact Nick or myself.   We have spare spaces on the next stall which is on Saturday 5th May, 2018

Some of our other future events are as follows, from the 4th June to the 11th June we have our exhibition at Ecco charity shop. On the 16th June Carnival Day we have booked a 5x5 m. plot in Sworders Field where we will show paintings. We have now purchased a Gazebo which we used at the carnival last year which we found simple to erect and gave us an improved presentation.  On the 8th July, Grove Cottage Charity are holding a festival of flavour where we are having a trestle table in their gift marquee. We are also having our usual stall at the Christmas fayre on the 1st December, 2018.

This year the Christmas social will be held on the 29th November, which we thought would be better as It wouldn’t clash so much with members pre Christmas arrangements.

Finally we are contemplating purchasing a new projector which will give us an improved presentation when we have demonstrations. Our technical officer Geoff Maguire has done some research on a projector and we will be making a purchase very shortly. It will cost in the region of £500. One of our members who wishes to remain anonymous has donated £100 towards it. Which we greatly appreciate.

 Most of you will have received a form which you will need to sign when you pay your subs this year, as there are new regulations coming into force on the 25th May regarding data protection. We have to get your permission to use your e.mail addresses, postal addresses and telephone numbers as described on the form. There are spare copies on the table if you require them.

 This ends my report and I wish everyone an enjoyable summer painting and success with the exhibition in June. Thank you again for supporting the society and for attending the A.G.M.


David Cooper


19th April, 2018