Presidents Report 2015
Another year has passed quickly but this one had a very special day attached to it. Yes finally on the 23rd May we opened the new Art Gallery. This project has been on the go for over 12 years and many people who contributed to the progress have moved on, left the district or are no longer with us. I wish to acknowledge all of these people, especially the latter group mentioned, people who we and their families miss so much. The contribution from all to our evolving art world is very much appreciated.
The opening of the Gallery in May was indeed a milestone in our journey. The success of the day was due to the huge number of supporters who came and visited the new building. That support was a massive vote of confidence to our Curator Shirin and staff members Simone and Nicole. The day was also successful because of the efforts of our committee and helpers. It demonstrates the passion and dedication that is part of the Art Gallery something I am very proud of.
Since the opening we have seen a large increase in visitor numbers, which has resulted in an increased workload for all staff members. The appointment recently of a new front of house staff member, Emily Carter, will hopefully ease that workload. The touring exhibitions as well as local exhibitions have made the Gallery an interesting and vibrant place to visit, which reflects in the comments penned on our comments wall. Our new retail space is growing rapidly with people recognising the chance to purchase high quality gifts and cards. The Gallery is indebted to Anne Carr for setting up the retail space and for being the full time volunteer at the front of house since we opened in May.
Our relationship with the Council still has its ups and downs. The Council has had a number of staff changes in the past 12 months especially in areas that we deal with. It is up to us to keep the information flow going and help the relationship move forward for the good of all. We thank the Council for their ongoing financial commitment to the Gallery.
A thank you to the Museum and Family History Group as our ground floor neighbours. Many people who come through the front door enjoy the experience of your exhibitions and research spaces which is great for the future of our building.
A big thank you to our sponsors. We as always do need your ongoing support and hopefully you see that you are getting value for your input.
I wish to thank the committee for their support and the Executive, Anne, Jenny and Derek for their strong guidance. We do need more people to stand as committee members and as previously discussed at a recent committee meeting the Executive needs to be slightly increased to broaden the input.
Finally I wish to thank our staff, Simone Barnsdale and Nicole Bourke for the role they have played in assisting Shirin and the committee throughout the past year. It is very much appreciated.
Lastly to our Curator Shirin Khosraviani, we as a group will never be able to adequately thank you for your time, effort and dedication, sometimes too dedicated I think, but you are truly amazing. Your knowledge and skills are our gain, at all times you are a professional and I hope that as we showcase the Art Gallery going forward you can step away from your busy schedule to not only find more personal time but also to reflect that what we have here in Ashburton has your fingerprints all over it. Most of the credit goes to you with our deepest thanks
Bernard Davidson, President, Art Gallery Committee incorporated.