Port Stephens Community Art Centre elects new Management Committee

Feature artist Libby Booth with some of her works.

THE Port Stephens Community Arts Centre members elected a new Management Committee in September.

With Carolyn Virgona completing her term as president, the incoming committee thanked Carolyn for her guidance and mentorship over the last six years while growing the Arts Centre.

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Noelene Fraser also completed her 20-year term volunteering as treasurer.

Incoming President Meryl Miller told News Of The Area, “Energised volunteers make not-for-profit organisations great.”

The new leadership team is Meryl Miller (President), Di Adamson (Gallery Manager and Vice President), Louise Leddie (Treasurer), Susan Kelly (Secretary), Melanie Delaney (Group Liaison Manager), Marianne Newton (Maintenance Manager).

“There is currently one vacancy in our management team,” said Meryl.

Spoonville comes to Arts Centre

During COVID, Toni Martin donated a number of ‘Spoonville’ figures that she had created to the Arts Centre.

The global Spoonville initiative was created as something fun, interactive and safe to do during the pandemic, with contributors creating miniature figurines from spoons to add to ‘spoonville’ communities in shared spaces around the world.

Local artists have created many delightful characters who have taken up residence in their newly created village within the Arts Centre garden.

Current Exhibitions

A ‘Minimalist and Life Drawing’ exhibition runs at the Arts Centre until 15 November.

“Our artists have stepped away from reality and created abstract expressions depicting the theme of minimalism,” said Meryl.

Featured artist Libby Booth began painting watercolour in 2017 after having given up painting as a hobby in the 1970s when she found that she didn’t have spare time after her third child was born.

Some 45 years later Libby became inspired to start painting again when she attended an exhibition at Gosford Regional Gallery held by the Central Coast Watercolour Society and was handed a brush, paper and paint and told ‘just go for it’.

Having only previously painted with oil and acrylic, watercolour was (and still is) quite a challenge!

Libby joined the Central Coast Watercolour Society and attended workshops to get started with the essentials.

Even though she claims to be self-taught (certainly with no artistic credentials), artists like Krista Brennan, Susie Murphie, Tony Belobradjic, Dee Jackson, Madeleine Szymanski, Greg Allen, Tanya Baily have all contributed to her early learning of differing techniques and styles.

A few years ago, Libby moved from Sydney to Corlette and joined the Monday afternoon Painters Group at the Port Stephens Community Arts Centre.

Here Libby has been able to learn from talented local artists like Nada Yonge and Ileana Clark.

When COVID struck she found inspiration online, not only via YouTube but from artists like Cheryl Bruce.

This year Libby has attended workshops at the Arts Centre conducted by Rob Candy, Harold de Jeune and Harry Westera.

“I enjoy painting with watercolour as I love the transparency of the paint,” Libby said.

“I like to work in a free style with a limited palette.”


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