President’s Report  2021

presented to AGM November 28th 2021

First of all, I wish to pay my respects to  ASPI leaders & members, past and present, upon whose work and dreams we have been able to build. For years past presidents and committees have been searching for a home for ASPI.  This has involved countless hours of preparation, presentations and discussions. I am delighted to announce that this has not been in vain. On learning that the CFA building in Settlement Road is to be vacated we again made presentations to the Bass Coast Council CEO, staff and Councillors. The upshot is that ASPI will be in the mix along with the Gallery Shop and PICES when the building is assessed and repurposed. I have stressed the importance for ASPI to have space we can manage ourselves and that we also foresee an ad hoc drop in space to enable the creative equivalent of a Men’s Shed.

So it is a work in progress, but progress it is.

It has been an extraordinary year but a successful one on so many levels. 

With the demolition of the Cultural Centre in Cowes, the traditional Easter Exhibition presented many challenges. The Ramada Resort, with a special community rate, met all of our needs and then some. Again we were well supported by local businesses for Awards. A big thank you to Gay as Director, Warren and Josie and team for the installation, the members and committee for the hours of volunteer labour, all of which made for a very professional and beautiful exhibition. This resulted in many sales and lots of conversations.  You will be pleased to know we are booked to return to Ramada for Easter next year. We have a Bass Coast Shire Council Community Grant to assist with some of the costs and Sponsorship from the Bendigo Community Bank in Cowes for some of the Awards.  This support is very much appreciated.

I would like to make special mention of our co-ordinators who conduct our special interest groups. It hasn’t been easy with restrictions and there is much work involved behind the scenes. It is pleasing to see the number of participants is growing.

Many thanks to Marian for Appraise & Connect; Gay for Portraits; Ajanta, then Daniel for Life Drawing; Shirley for Textile Art Group (TAG); Jan for Come & Create; Ian and Lorrie for Ibis Writers; Charles for the Bulletin; and Shirley for the Workshops.  Reports from these groups have appeared in the Bulletins and I will circulate an annual report regarding Textiles and Workshops from Shirley. PICAL will still be in operation for a few months next year and we look forward to being able to use their spaces for as long as possible.

As we had to cancel the Cup Weekend Art Show we decided instead to have a Studio Clearance Sale at the Anglican Church Hall on the Sunday 31st October. This was great fun with twenty members participating and proved to be a good way to catch up with many of them.  It was all hands on deck as the committee, along with family members, got it all set up, the BBQ going, the supervision and sales, and then cleaning up afterwards.

Throughout the year we have seen membership increase and more of our members participating in activities. Some have taken on a mentoring role, others are there for inspiration and encouragement. I thank all those who have made a contribution.

It has been a privilege this year to work with such an amazing, positive and supportive committee.  My heartfelt thanks (in alphabetical order) go to Barb, Charles, Gay, Jan, Kerry, Sheryl and Shirley. Every committee member has brought their energy, their ideas, their time and encouragement to the table, often at times when it wasn’t easy for them.  The results speak for themselves.  I know we can be proud of what we have achieved in 2021.

Miranda Sage