This year nine workshops were held with 105 students attending. Numerous comments made by SAE participants and visitors confirmed that this was an excellent event. We were blessed with cool sunny weather, making it one of the most comfortable SAEs we have ever experienced.
2012 saw SAE held at a new venue, Kingsford Smith School (KSS), in a building only three years old. There is no doubt that it lived up to its promise. Evaluations and comments by both tutors and students were overwhelmingly positive. Highly appreciated was the excellent light in all the rooms, the evaporative cooling, and closeness to a shopping centre (Kippax shops). Generally the room space was good although a couple of workshops did get rather crowded and we will try to rectify that in the future. Very importantly, all of the nine workshops were held in the one building and that led to cohesiveness, a problem when we were at the CIT Bruce. Access to toilets was one problem, but that was something beyond our control and that of the school. It will not be the case should we return there next year (and that seems highly likely).
The week began with a sumptuous morning tea on Monday to welcome participants. The Friday farewell lunch consisted of salads and pizzas from four pizzerias. This was very popular and we will probably repeat that menu.
During the Friday luncheon Alan Jones drew a name from those attending for five days. As a result Shirley Fisher is the lucky member who will have a free place of her choice in the 2013 SAE!
Key staff of KSS were extremely helpful throughout the SAE, including the setting up and packing away periods which actually meant some of us were visiting the school over a period of 11 days. Eckersley’s did a very good job, and Daniel and Hayden clocked up 700km running around town to their stores sourcing supplies for students each day.
The valuable student evaluations of the SAE experience have all been read. Suggestions for improvements have been noted and will be considered for next year. Students often commented in the evaluations on how friendly the volunteers were, and interstate people felt very welcome. That probably explains why we had nine participants complete new member applications during the SAE.
Evaluations of the tutors‘ contributions were universally positive. We are fortunate to attract such generous and skillful artists to stimulate and guide students. The impact of their excellent teaching was on show for all to see in the well-attended Thursday Walk Around. Special visitors at that time included the President and Secretary of the Kiama Art Society with whom I have formed good links.
Helen Musa from City News visited us and has published an online article about the SAE including some of her action photos. To view it go to the City News Website and search for “Round-the-clock summer painting”. or click on http://citynews.com.au/2012/arts-entertainment/art-arts-entertainment/round-the-clock-summerpainting/
The coordinators in the workshops did an excellent job in keeping the classrooms running efficiently over the five days. They carried out many tasks and their contribution is greatly appreciated (including staying on until 6pm on Friday with the clean up). They were Joan Costanzo, Maria Bendall, Maggie Eibisch, Sue Cook, Alan Jones, Petri Povel, Debby Gairns, and Leigh Murray.
Volunteers assisted in the setting up on Sunday, helping with the opening operations on Monday morning (registration, parking, traffic, assistance with carrying equipment), and with the catering of special events during the week. Your help of many hours work was invaluable. These volunteers were Rene Lays, Denise Moule, Sylvia Hughes-Man, Eva Henry, Alan Jones, Kim Serjeant, Maureen Lawrentin, Sue Cook, Joyce Dempsey, Bruce Morris, Josie White, Nik Rajic, Louise Dorman, Joan Costanzo, Tricia Wheatstone, Alan Jones, and Gillian Bellas. (I apologise if we have overlooked anybody.)
The core SAE Committee comprised Viv Pinder (student registrations), Maria Bendall (tutor liaison, transport and accommodation), Jacquie Rogers (catering), Ann Gould (finances) and Tim Hardy (promotion and marketing, venue operations). This team worked very effectively over a period of 10 months, and on behalf of ASOC Thank my to all team members for their very strong commitment and vital contributions. I believe this committee approach is how we must operate the SAE in the future.
SAE 2012 was an astounding success. The profit made from this event will go a good way to pay our annual studio rental. Such profit is the outcome of 10 months of unpaid work by our SAE committee, and the work of many ASOC volunteers in setting up and running the event itself.
Below are a few extracts from student comments about their experience of the SAE. Clearly the days of concentrated art creation and top quality instruction is very important for many people.
“ I learnt so much— everything to change my life!”
“Amazing. I have not painted for 40 years. It has been very inspiring”
“Just what I needed. ....My artist’s block...is now gone and I have the enthusiasm to start again with confidence and enthusiasm.”
“Love the week — I’ll be back!”
Don't forget to look at the SAE 2012 Photos. Click Here for Page 1 and Here for Page 2.