President's report



Thank you to everyone for attending the AGM.

As usual my first pleasant duty is to thank on my behalf and your behalf 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 constitutional endeavours which are to foster and develop an interest in Bishop’s Stortford and district Arts by the holding of drawing and painting meetings, public exhibitions, lectures and other activities.

Over recent years we have seen a decline in committee members, currently we are short of three members, if anyone would like to join the team you would be very welcome. We meet about every two months at the Rhodes Centre. Our very competent Secretary Eileen takes the minutes and circulates them to all the committee members.

We have had quite an eventful year, and thanks to Carole Crosby we had an interesting and varied programme, we saw seven demonstrations by professional artists, and four of our members took part in the programme. Carole Crosby did an excellent portrayal of Lowry even using the Manchester dialect in certain parts of her talk to emphasise  the environment and surroundings where Lowry lived. Bill Morris performed his usual magic and did a splendid painting of a Rhythmic dancer. Heather Brown gave us an interesting evening resurrecting some of our unfinished paintings.

Last but not least Ray Whyard gave us an informative and instructive critique. Carole has completed the programme for this current year and you will find a draft copy of it on the back of the meeting agenda. The full programme will be emailed or sent to members who don’t have computers, after the meeting.

We had two exhibitions during the year, one at the Rhodes Centre in July, where we sold 5 framed paintings and 3 unframed paintings. It is doubtful that we will be exhibiting at the Rhodes centre in the future as the gallery is going to be used for other purposes as the management of the Centre have reconsidered its use as a gallery and conclude that it is not economically viable. The management have now decided to extend the art wall on the first floor for exhibitions.   Several of our members have had experience of their own exhibitions there and say it hasn’t attracted much public interest, if they were able to publicise the venue more it may help. We had another successful exhibition at the ECCO charity shop where we sold 12 framed paintings and 3 unframed paintings. We were entertained at the private view by an accomplished young lady guitar player who composed her own songs which she sang for us. Reg Siger who did a lovely painting of a scene in Cavenham, Suffolk at his demonstration kindly gave it to us which we used as the raffle prize which raised £111. As a result of the exhibition we were able to donate £200 towards the charity.

Thanks go to everyone who helped set up the exhibition, and to Yvonne Robinson who processed the submission forms and produced the Catalogue, also to Carole Crosby who organized the Stewards Roster for the ECCO exhibition. Thanks are also due to Palmer and Martin who kindly transported our screens for the ECCO exhibition, also sponsorship from Richard Taylor of “Simpsons Creative” who donated funds for our posters and flyers for the Rhodes Exhibition.

A special thank you goes to Nick our publicity officer who designed our calendar and also for all his hard work in producing our posters and flyers for the exhibitions. The sale of the calendars brought in a profit of £46.

Our special event for the year was our day trip to Crow’s Hall the home of Caroline Spurier who was the great granddaughter of Francis Maynard the countess of Warwick one of our most prominent founder members in 1935. Caroline invited us to her home for a day’s painting. The day proved to be very successful and some excellent paintings were done of the buildings and gardens.   We were also lucky with the weather as the sun shone all day. We finished the day at the Hunters Meet in Hatfield Heath enjoying their al la carte menu. We were fortunate also in receiving a grant from East Herts Council to help with the hire of the coach.   I have brought with me a copy of the article that the Herts and Essex Observer produced for us about the day trip if anyone would like to see it afterwards.

As you are probably aware the Town Council run a Farmer’s and Craft market on the first Saturday of every month where we have our own stall, which has helped us to recruit new members. Some of the members have shared in running the stall exhibiting their own paintings and have

been fortunate enough to sell some. If you would like to share in running a 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 a spare quarter space on the next stall which is on Saturday 6th May, 2017.

This year we held our Christmas Social in January due to the school having an event of their own on that date we originally set. As a result we will be holding it again in January as it was felt that more members were able to attend due to less commitments engaging them after Christmas. Thanks go to Barbara Anderson for her Catering Expertise, which she does so well. The Landscape Cup was won by Carole Crosby.

Finally our day trip to Kew and the dinner at the “Hunter’s Meet” on the 15th June is looming up and there are still three places available if any member is interested, the cost is £15 which is for the entrance fee to the gardens and exhibitions plus the driver’s tip. etc. The cost of the Coach has been covered by an activity grant from East Herts Council. Hopefully the weather will be fine and we shall enjoy the day.

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


27th April, 2017.