AGM & Committee

AGM Minutes, Reports and Committee Meetings
Shipley Art Gallery

Members attending:
A.White (Chair)*; S.Lewis (Treasurer)*; W.Drea*; A.Drynan*; H.Bell*;
J.Fulthorpe*; P.Thompson*; J.Dyson*; A.Roberts; M.Richardson; J.McGee;

A.Brown*; L.Wood; J.Stamp; J.McGregor; I.Ayre; J.Manning:T.Griffiths; A.Anderson; J.Beard; A.Fereday; D.Johnson; K.Stott; D.Stevenson; Y.Lou; C.Lovatt

The minutes were agreed.


SL reported that the accounts are in a healthy state, with little change from last year. However, there was a reduction in spending on biscuits as these are now purchased in bulk by LW.
It was noted that annual fees (£30) are now due.
The accounts were approved.

The Chairman asked members for thoughts on future themes for the Programme.

There was a visit to North Shields Fish Quay, which 4 members attended.

A visit is scheduled for 21st June to Unison Soft Pastel Works near Bellingham. JF to look into booking. There is also the Bellweather Art Gallery, a second hand bookshop, cafe and a fine church, with lots of sketching opportunities.

Other venues suggested by Anne Brown for future visits are Craster and Howick Hall, which has been upgraded and has a splendid gardens and tea room.

AW will look into hiring a coach.

The annual exhibition went well, but only 7 paintings were sold. Part of the
exhibition was shown in the small gallery at the entrance, which was overlooked by many visitors as it was not well signposted. AW thinks we could show paintings in more areas in the gallery with signs to draw attention to them.

We haven’t been asked to exhibit at the St. Marys venue this year, and it was thought that it might have closed down.

Regarding new members, AW said there is plenty of interest from prospective members, which he will follow up on. He said it is important to introduce younger members into the Society if possible, for it to thrive in future.

WD gave a report on the website. He said he receives images from some members, but more images are always welcome.

JD suggested including pricing on paintings. WD said individual members could include a price if they wanted to, but would also have to include information on size and state whether framed or unframed.

AD is standing down as Deputy Chairman but will remain a valued member of the Committee. JD will take over some of her activities.

SL raised the question of using social media (Facebook or Whatsapp) to enable members who couldn’t always attend to remain in contact with the Art Society.

HB said he has had experience of Facebook and it didn’t work. It was difficult to run and he closed it. Whatsapp remains a possibility. Members could form a chat group.
AW will confirm every member’s mobile number and contact details before the group is set up. SL said her son might help in setting it up.

HB mentioned an annual Urban Sketching event which is coming up on 21st to 23rd June. This year, it is taking place in Newcastle. Everyone gets together and sketches views of Newcastle, and they are all displayed at the end of the event. HB will forward information on this to AW for circulation.

JMcG expressed his appreciation of the Art Society and said how much he enjoyed coming.

The meeting closed at 1.55pm.

Minutes of the AGM meeting April 2023 for members' information.

Just a few points arising from them:-

The subscriptions of £30 are now due. I believe that Sheila is away for a couple of weeks, so there is no rush, but if you want to pay by cheque to Gateshead Art Society, you could leave them with me and I will give them to Sheila.
We have agreed with the Shipley that we can run a trial period when we can attend between 10:00 and 12:00 on Saturday mornings. We can use the facilities every fortnight starting on the 10th June when we can use the main gallery spaces. On 24th June, 8th & 22nd July and 5th & 19th August we will be able to use either the workshop or main gallery spaces. We will review the use at the end of August to see if it is worth continuing or to increase the number of days and/ or hours availability.
We have agreed that our Friday afternoon sessions can be extended from 13:00 to 16:00. You can come for the usual 2 hours or the full 3 hours, it is entirely up to you. We may have to tweak the coffee break time to suit – let’s see how it goes.
The gallery are actively looking at the possibility of using the Shipley lounge as part of our hanging space for the annual exhibition. They are also checking how many of our former members have works in the collection as a special commemoration of our 75th show.


Shipley Art Gallery

Members attending: A White (Chair); A Brown *; W Drea *; A Drynan *;
S Lewis*; I Ayre; H Bell; T Griffiths; J Manning; J McGee; J McGregor;
M Richardson; A Roberts; J Stamp; L Wood:

Apologies: A Anderson; P Beard; A Farraday; J Fulthorpe *; D Johnson; D Stevenson & Youjin; C Lovatt; K Stott; B Wilson:
The minutes have been published on the Gateshead Art Society website, and no objections have been raised.


Before J Dyson’s move to Portugal, she liaised with S Lewis to take over as treasurer. The Society is grateful both to Jenny for her past services and to Sheila for taking on the responsibility.
SL’s report was presented to the meeting and it was noted that annual fees (£30) were now due.
SL wondered if the gratuities made to front of house staff might be raised. The Chairman pointed out that there was less consistency with frequent changes of staff and suggested that we should stick with the status quo. Nevertheless it was suggested that Ruth Sheldon had been more than helpful and it would be appropriate to show our appreciation, possibly with some kind of voucher and this was agreed.
The Accounts were approved by a show of hands.

The Chairman reported about the annual exhibition, and thanked CL for doing the poster. He had requested it be returned to gallery C. However owing to a change of use, this will not be possible. It is likely that the exhibition will be mounted as in the previous year. This was deemed regrettable as 2024 will mark the 75th anniversary of the society. The chair also suggested that work by past alumni held in the museum’s collection should be on display, but only if we get more stands or the use of the lounge. The meeting agreed that this was a good idea. It was suggested that the 11th November was a likely start date.
The Chair reminded members of the forthcoming exhibition at the Gateshead Information Centre (St. Mary’s) from the 12th July to the end of August, setting up on Tuesday July 11th.
Regarding membership numbers WD reported that there were frequent requests to him and other members about joining the Society. It was felt that it was important to recruit younger members. Therefore it was suggested that there be an open meeting possibly a Saturday morning. TG asked about getting permission to use some materials from the resources cupboard, and also offered to do a demonstration. There would be an opportunity for a small display of member’s work. A possible date was suggested to the gallery –10th June, however the gallery has events on June 3rd and July 10th, but alternatives could be arranged.


WD reported about the website that hit numbers were similar to last year. Normally there are 30 to 60 hits per week, this rises to 450 when the annual exhibition is on, and in one week in February there were 950 hits!
He had deleted some of the older images (please tell him if members prefer to leave their images on the site).
Referring to the Chair’s comments regarding new members, he had received 20 or so applications. However those invited did not materialise, suggesting that the number of hits were more in relation to expressions of interest rather than requests to join.
There was a discussion regarding other websites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.) WD expressed his doubts about their usefulness.


The chairman asked if anyone would like to join the committee, but members seemed happy with the status quo.


The chairman raised the question of meeting times, which were changed for COVID 19. A discussion followed about a return to the meeting time prior to the pandemic. There were suggestions of 2pm to 4pm or even 1pm to 4 pm, but it will remain the same for now.
The chairman thanked JF for opening the annual exhibition and suggested that JF’s services would be required for this year as it coincides with his wife’s birthday.
LW kindly offered to get supplies of tea and coffee.
SL offered to contact long term absent members to ascertain whether they wanted to continue with their membership.
Finally the Chair thanked the committee for their work and support over the past year.

The meeting closed at 14:11




Present : Allan White, Jenny Dyson, Audrey Drynan, Willie Drea, John Fulthorpe, Joe McGregor,
Irene Ayre, Tim Griffiths, Karen Stott, Margaret Richardson, Ann Roberts, Harry Bell, Linda Wood, John McGee.

Apologies received from : Ann Brown, Peter Beard, Douglas Johnston and Pat Thompson.

1. Minutes of Previous AGM.
As the Chairman pointed out, due to Covid, there was no AGM meeting actually held last year. The Minutes of the previous AGM were prepared on that basis, read by the Chairman, (Allan White) accepted by Audrey Drynan and seconded by Jenny Dyson.

2. Matters Arising

3. Treasurer’s Report
The Treasurer (Jenny Dyson) read out details of our financial situation over the past year. As no attendance fees were collected, our only income was from the members subscriptions, which amounted to £500. Our expenditure was read out, totalling £531.72. We currently have a credit balance of £2,225.91. A copy of her report is attached.
The Treasurer proposed that we increase our annual subscription to £30. and no longer pay an attendance fee of £1., which included a cup of coffee or tea, as this would in future be covered by the increased fee. This would mean that we would no longer have to collect the £1. fee at each meeting. This proposal was seconded by Willie and unanimously agreed by the members present.

4. Chairman and Secretary's report.
The Chairman read out his report on the past year's activities. A copy is attached to these minutes.
He commented on our recent annual exhibition, where we had to display our paintings on boards but despite this, we sold 17 paintings, which was more than the previous year, although those had to be on line, as we didn't have an exhibition in the gallery. The highly commended artists were Margaret Richrdson, Joe McGregor and Anne Roberts. We will now have to start our negotiations with the gallery for this year's exhibition so that we will know what will be allowed.
We didn't have a summer exhibition at the Gateshead Heritage Centre last year due to Covid but have been offered one again this summer. There will be a maximum of 30 paintings required and this will take place from 3rd August to 2nd September.
He suggested that perhaps we should organise a life model, as this is listed on our current programe for the meeting on 20th May. Members agreed and the Chairman will endeavour to make a booking.
The Chairman expressed his thanks to Willie for all his hard work in running our website.
He also welcomed our two new members, Linda Wood and the return of John McGee. We will review our membership list in the coming months to see if we have room to admit more prospective members from our waiting list.

5. Website report.
Willie reported that the website continued to display our paintings but viewing figures had dropped. He asked that members submit more paintings to add to the website to revive interest
and encourage more viewings. He also reported that we will need to send a cheque to renew the subscription. The treasurer will arrange this. Willie also asked for any suggestions that might improve the website.

6. Election of Officers.
Allan asked if anyone wished to voluteer. As there were none, the existing committee were re-elected. However, Willie said that at some point, he would need to relinquish his duties on the website and would need to start training a successor on the ways of running it in the way that Joe McGregor had shown him. He asked members to think about whether anyone felt able to take this on.

7 General discussion and AOB.
The Chairman raised the matter of his position as Chair/Secretary and looking to the future. He feels we need to start thinking about his successor and at some point they should start training alongside him, as he did with John McNally, to make the process go more smoothly. He had recently circulated a list of his duties, particularly in relation to the requirements of organising our annual exhibition.
He asked if members had any other matters they wished to raise. Margaret asked if it was necessary to continue the type of buffet we usually had at the Preview of our exhibition. Allan said perhaps we could downsize this to perhaps just a drink ( wine/coffee/tea/soft drink) and nibbles.
John Fulthorpe expressed concern over the recent clashes with our workshop bookings but Allan felt that this had now been clarified with the gallery and he had established our weekly use.
Willie suggested that in view of our healthy financial position, perhaps we could use some of our money to organise a trip out or a lecturer visit us. Tim suggested a possible visit to the Unison Pastels workshop near Bellingham. He had previously visited this with the Newcastle Art Group and found it very interesting. Another suggestion was to revisit Bowes Museum.
A need to try and attract younger members was raised, particularly in relation to looking to the future and the need to find replacements for current committee members at some point. A suggestion was made at the possibility of arranging some sort of Saturday morning sessions for young people. The Chairman would need to discuss this with the Gallery. John Fulthorpe suggested it would be nice to try and arrange a Saturday worshop for current members. Again this would need to be discussed with the Gallery.

John Fulthorpe proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairmans, seconded by Jenny and carried unanimously.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2.10pm.