Artists Society of Canberra - Spring Exhibition 2017

20 September 2017

Artists Society of Canberra (ASOC) was founded in 1927 by the architects and draughtsmen sent to this then treeless plain to develop the site for the National Capital and later to implement the Walter Burley Griffin plan for the city of Canberra. Not a lot to do in those early days of Canberra, so many small groups flourished to find a supportive environment for the newbies with time on their hands.

And today the current membership can look back over decades of providing opportunities for artists to learn, exhibit and support with workshops, training courses and regular work groups in their studio space at M16 ArtSpace in Griffith.

Every spring their Members’ Art Exhibition is an eclectic mix of visual arts in painting, drawing and sculpture, demonstrating the talent and extraordinary variety of the members’ abilities and pursuit of their craft over the year.

Many members are friends in the arts scene with familiar styles I’ve come to enjoy, a few have made it home to sit among my own mix of art that has now outgrown available wall space, but is much loved and represents a distinctive Canberra view.

This Spring a considered effort to curate a flow of styles and types was done by Renee Quiambao – she calls it a thematic exhibition - in the Albert Hall, and showcases how light and juxtaposition can and does highlight this mix of the members’ contributions.

Opened by Gai Brodtmann MP, with the presentation of art prizes and associated judges comments, it was the award for the newly established prize, sponsored by Capital Chemist, for the David Hatton Prize for Watercolour that brought back lovely memories of a man who died this year, he taught me so much about watercolours, how to judge and understand so many aspects of arts practice, and has left a treasured legacy with the ASOC family especially the ASOC’s Summer Art Experience he started in 2001. Particularly for me, a conversation we had at the 2003 Summer Art Experience looking out towards Mont Stromlo on the eve of the 2003 bushfires. Something was definitely in the air on that occasion, and that vista will never be the same as it was on that leisurely afternoon.