Art with a spring

THE Alfred Cove Art Society’s Spring Fever exhibition has a little extra heat in it this year, as the group tries to shake off the collapse of the Melville Community Arts Association.

The exhibition is running from September 8 – 17 at Atwell Gallery; its future is up in the air after day-to-day management was taken over by Melville council with MCAA’s demise.

Exhibition coordinator and recent life member of the Alfred Cove society, Bev Johnson, said they were in a bit of a “limbo” at the moment despite getting help from the council.

“They have given us this space for an exhibition to let people know that we are still alive, but as to how it’s going to end up, I don’t know,” Ms Johnson said.

“We’re also looking for new members, because some of the people that were part of the MCAA have dropped off and gone to other places.”

She says the exhibition is a chance to show people they’re still active, and it will include works from a wide range of mediums including oils, watercolours, acrylics and pastels.

ACAS has been forging closer ties with Opal Care, which Ms Johnson says has been vital to keeping them going the uncertainty around Atwell House.

“What we’ve done is we’ve invited Opal people to our exhibition, and we’re planning to go into their care homes – there’s three in the area – and do demonstrations and socialising with people.

“That’s the main things, we’re community-based people and we’ve done a lot of charity work and that sort of thing in the area.”

ACAS original built the first gallery at Atwell House 44 years ago when it was gifted to the council by the Atwell family, though the organisation was known as the Melville Arts Group at that time.

Current president Jennifer Rawlinson said they’ve always been run by volunteers and are self-funded, but still manage to hold the odd overseas art excursion amongst the local outings.

“Our skillshare days where artists experiment with different mediums are very popular and a good way to find your way into art for beginners,” Ms Rawlinson said.

“We hold workshops in various mediums, participate in Melville Open Studios as well as having two exhibitions each year.

“Next year will be our 25th Awards of Excellence,” she said.

“The benefit of Art for relaxation, mental health and wellbeing is well documented,” Ms Rawlinson said.

“The the failure of MCAA many people thought we too had failed as an art society.

“I would like to assure you that ACAS is strong, healthy and in absolutely no danger of collapse.

“We look forward to welcoming new members joining and participating in our association.”

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