MaroondahSpeeches and Presentations

Opening the Ringwood Art Society 40th Anniversary: Artist of the Year Exhibition

By January 13, 20075 Comments

Tonight I had the pleasure of opening the Ringwood Art Society Artist of the Year Exhibition. My opening was as follows:

It gives me great pleasure to open The Ringwood Art Society’s Artist of the Year Exhibition.

With over 260 members, the Society is well regarded as one of Victoria’s largest art societies. Maroondah Council recognizes the important contribution the Ringwood Art Society makes to the vibrancy and culture of Maroondah and we are absolutely delighted to present the work of its talented members, here at our very own Maroondah Art Gallery.

Tonight’s exhibition is especially significant, as it marks the Society’s 40th year of operation. Since its establishment in 1966, the continuing strength of the Society is a clear testament to the dedication of its members and management committee. As both an arts organization and a ‘not for profit’ body, the Society’s capacity to service its members through its art classes and outdoor painting excursions is extremely impressive and it reflects the ongoing passion, dedication and commitment of all those involved.

Maroondah has an immense cultural offering and while many people often go to the inner suburbs of Melbourne to seek art and culture, they can find great cultural value, great artists and great exhibitions here in Maroondah. The longevity of the Ringwood Art Society is a true reflection of just how much culture and artistic pride exists within our very own City of Maroondah.

The Artist of the Year exhibition features work by approximately twenty selected artists, each represented by an outdoor scene, a still life and portrait work. Produced in an array of mediums, including oil, acrylic, watercolour and pencil, the works reveal the breadth of talent to be found in the Ringwood Art Society. To mention just one example of outstanding artistic achievement, we look no further than the work of the 2005 Artist of the Year, Barbara Beasley Southgate. Her work, ‘Country Life, Daylesford’ is a striking pastel scene, which is on show at the entrance of the main gallery space. Since its development in the 15th Century, pastel has been especially favored by artists; nonetheless, it requires a considerable degree of patience and mastery, as we see in Barbara’s landscape scene.

Members of the Ringwood Art Society are eligible to cast their vote for the Artist of the Year, based on the three works submitted by each entrant, as well as voting for the Most Popular Painting. Members of the public are also eligible to cast their vote in the people’s choice award. Voting slips and ballot boxes can be found at the Gallery counter and winners will be announced at the Society’s annual general meeting, which is scheduled for next month in February.

Before I open the exhibition I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Heidi Victoria, Member for Bayswater and Jan Kronberg, Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region.

Alex Makin

Alex Makin

Alex Makin is a councillor for the Mullum Ward in the City of Maroondah. Alex has been a councillor since 2005, representing ratepayers, businesses, community groups and residents. I aim to continue making a difference and welcome any thoughts you may have in regard to life, community and business in Maroondah. Phone: (03) 9870 8202 or 0408 311 645 Email:


  • Kayleen West says:

    I wanted to contact you and personally thank you for speaking on that night. Your speech was a wonderful addition to the night. I wish I could speak like that at openings.

    I was impressed with the Maroondah Art Gallery. It is well-presented art space and consequently I spoke to Damien Smith that night about holding a solo exhibition there.
    Again thank you for speaking on that night and taking the time to meet the artists. It was truly lovely to meet you.

    Kindest Regards,

    Kayleen West

  • Alex Makin says:

    Thank you for your comments. It was great to have the opportunity to open the exhibition and to meet some of the artists.

    I hope to see your own exhibition in the Maroondah Art Gallery, you have some truly wonderful work on display on your website. Please let me know of any upcoming exhibitions.



  • Janet Hayes says:

    Could you please send me a contact phone number for Ringwood Art Society

  • Alex Makin says:

    Hello Janet,

    Thank you for your email message. The Ringwood Arts Society can be contacted on 9876 9466. The Society is located at 125a Warrandyte Road (at the rear of the North Ringwood Senior Citizens Centre at Norwood Reserve).



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