Tea Gardens Art & Craft Extravaganza

MOSAIC TEAM: Kerry Faber, Desley Voigt, Cherry Hughes, Gwenda Collins.
MOSAIC TEAM: Kerry Faber, Desley Voigt, Cherry Hughes, Gwenda Collins.

A year of creativity was on display in Tea Gardens last weekend at the annual Myall Community Arts and Craft Sale.

From stunning works done purely by putting pencil to paper, through to complicated woodwork designs, landscape paintings and contemporary works, this was a show for all tastes.

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“The men’s team did all the heavy lifting, we’ve probably cycled around 150 members working in teams to put the show together,” President Sue Rappell told News Of The Area.

It takes six months of planning and hundreds of creative hours to fill the three rooms and the store with works that are all unique.

‘’There’s a lot of talent in this town,” said Joan Wilcox, one of the founding members of the Community Art and Craft Centre.

Eighty-six-year-old Joan was one of the four women who started the group in humble beginnings in a hut on the Hawks Nest Golf Course more than 25 years ago.

“This is a self-help group,” Joan said.

“I run the art class, I’m not a teacher but I help out if I can when people want to know how to do this or the other.”

“It’s the same with all the classes, whoever is there will help the others or the newcomer.”

A major factor to the group’s longevity and growth is the camaraderie and collaboration that comes from being one of the 240 members of the Art and Craft Community.

“It keeps us all out of mischief,” said Desley Voigt, a member for 15 years.

Desley is part of the mosaics team along with Kerry Faber, Cherry Hughes and Gwenda Collins.

The group meets on a Friday for six hours, some members coming from as far away as Lake Macquarie.

“A couple comes up from Gwendolen, and a regular member comes from Bulahdelah and Medowie,” Gwenda said.

And there’s no age barrier to joining a group. “We even had a nine-year-old boy for a while,” Desley said.

“A Karuah primary school group came to learn how to do the basics of mosaics and created an Aboriginal design for their school,” Gwenda said.

The Art and Craft Community Centre is also a family affair, Joan Wilcox’s sister, Norma Seggie, is part of the team who volunteers to keep the shop open seven days a week.”

With a duster in hand, Norma is constantly on the move.

“We all help each other,” Norma said.

As a not-for-profit organisation, the Centre will also donate to local charities and community organisations from proceeds made from the three day sale.

There’s no time to rest either, as planning and preparations are now underway for their Easter show, where members will show off their skills in a craft demonstration day.

By Margie TIERNEY

FOUNDING MEMBER: Joan Wilcox with two of her watercolours.
FOUNDING MEMBER: Joan Wilcox with two of her watercolours.

ART ENTHUSIAST: Lynette Thorn.
ART ENTHUSIAST: Lynette Thorn.

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