In 2014, the Ferntree Gully Arts Society celebrated its 70th anniversary. The society members decided its venue, The Hut Gallery, deserved a facelift. And so the little building with its orange exterior has been transformed. Its new soft-green outer sits comfortably
within the background of the hills, while its fresh signage is a self-assured expression of the society and its purpose.
The facelift is the external manifestation of change. At the same time there’s an internal transformation happening as well. The entire undertaking is embodied in the project Beyond Seventy which aims to achieve big things with increased membership and offerings.
With the support of the Knox City Council, the society members are workshopping ideas with the marketing company SRG Consulting. But this is no movement of weasel words and techno-babble. Rather, it’s an initiative driven by a passion for the arts and a keen enthusiasm to extend, even further, the society’s services to the community. Workshops are stimulating sessions where themes such as the traditional and contemporary,
commercialism and passion, resources and offerings, are excitedly debated. Courses, exhibitions, workshops and social activities will continue, just as they have in the past, but with a difference. The future will hold a greater outreach. And there’ll be even more emphasis on the particular needs of different members of the community, whether they be young or old, local or from further afield.
An example of the society’s more recent undertakings is the Young @ Art Awards where young people are encouraged to submit and exhibit work. Previous events have attracted work of high quality. The next exhibition and awards will be held at 2 pm on Sunday 5th June. The exhibition will be on display on Sundays until 26 June.
Following on from this, September will see the popular Street Art on Canvas, another
exhibition attracting younger entrants.
So it’s not just a cosmetic facelift that the FTG Arts Society is engaging in. It’s setting the scene for deeper and wider inclusiveness, an inclusiveness that is cognisant and varied in meeting the needs and aspirations of many.
As Aristotle said, ‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance’.
Story and photo by Teresa Cannon