Ferntree Gully Arts Society celebrates 75 years

On Saturday 17 August about 40 members and friends of the Ferntree Gully Arts Society gathered at The Hut Gallery to celebrate 75 years of bringing art to the community.

The Society was founded in 1944 by Australian potter Allan Lowe who recognised the need to encourage the many artists who were living in the hills at that time. The Society continues to support and provide opportunity for artists of all ages to further their interest
in a range of mediums.

On the night of the 75th birthday party members old and new, past and present, gathered in groups to reminisce – so many great memories and stories to tell! Wine and canapes were served, but the highlight of the evening was the magnificent birthday cake made by
President, Shirley Dougan!

For information about workshops, classes and upcoming exhibitions, you can visit The Hut’s official website here.

Ferntree Gully Arts Society – 1944 to 2019

Known to many locals as ‘The Hut’ – the name of the gallery, originally an old army hut – the art society welcomes people of all ages and abilities who want to be involved in visual arts.

Whilst they love people to join their society, there are opportunities for non-members to join in the workshops on offer and to exhibit their work in some exhibitions.

With an eye on more modern art, they have embraced youth culture with an exhibition in June , Young @ Art (for 12-19 year olds) and a VCE showcase. Both are held annually.

Other exhibitions feature artwork from members and can be viewed on weekends when the gallery is open to the public.

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, draw or paint, the answer lies in the practising of these skills.

You are invited to start your artistic practice by participating in a workshop (your first one is free) at the Hut Gallery.

History of the Hut

Article from the Hut Gallery website

The Hut in 1950

The Ferntree Gully Arts Society had its beginnings in 1944 with a letter sent by local potter, Allan Lowe, to the Secretary of the Ferntree Gully Shire, suggesting that an Art Exhibition be held to “develop the cultural and appreciative level of our residents and (the money raised) donated to the Red Cross to aid fighting men”.

From a successful exhibition, including works on loan by such luminaries of Australian art as Arthur Streeton, William Ricketts, Louis Buvelot, Phillips Fox, Tom Roberts, Charles Conder, Julian Ashton, Merric Boyd and Albert Namatjira as well as works by local lesser known artists, the germ of a society was formed, the result of which is still going strong today.

Established in 1951, the Tuesday night Sketch Club was a staple on the society’s calendar. Finding somewhere for artists to draw from life for a very reasonable fee was not an easy task in the fifties and many came from “town” on the train to the little Hut in the hills. Over the years artists such as Fred Williams, Noel Counihan, Ray Crooke and Arnold Shore attended.

The Hut has also been home to The Hut Players Repertory Group (now the 1812 Theatre in Upper Ferntree Gully) a music society, a film society (now the Ferntree Gully Film Society) a poetry group and a potters group.

Through our many workshops, social activities, exhibitions and classes we foster a culturally active community. Going forward, the FTG Arts Society continues to provide a warm and welcoming environment for artists of all abilities and ages.

For more information, check out the Ferntree Gully Arts Society website.

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