CHAIRMAN’S REPORT TO 87th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (summarised)

Lockdown Year 2020/21 – a year of sorrow, loss and uncertainty. But through it all our Society has kept going and we have kept painting. Last summer, during Lockdown 1, members contributed 150 paintings to the Lockdown Challenges. We have painted 200 portraits and the Thursday Group has produced over 300 paintings to a variety of themes. There has been a visible growth in members’ confidence in handling new techniques and subjects.

A random selection of other developments includes:

  • Zoom – a whole new experience has become part of everyday life, made 9 Committee meetings possible and we have been screensharing our work.
  • An elegant new website
  • A growing membership of 119 members
  • A grant from the Council to help with rent
  • A successful exhibition of Photographs (Lockdown Life)
  • Both live and on-line Life Sessions
  • Organising our Gallery at Sussex House for social distancing in preparation for exhibitions
  • 5 exhibitions during the summer when we were able to open up
  • A successful Autumn Exhibition with increased sales of paintings and cards (on previous years)
  • Full-day workshops on site before Tunbridge Wells went into Tier 3 last November
  • Two-page spreads about the Society in 2 of our local journals
  • A great variety of themes to test our painting skills
  • A new Instagram account which now has 250 Followers
  • A year in which we have contained our financial outgoings but now need to build our revenue
  • Revamped premises at Sussex House both inside and outside