Summary of the Chair’s Report for AGM 2016
2016 has been an ambitious and exciting year for the Foundation.
At the end of last year, Lauretta Morton, our Art Gallery Manager, brought an inspirational idea to the newly elected Board. It was a request to underwrite the purchase of a major work by John Olsen, dedicated to Newcastle and the Hunter. The Board agreed that this would be a wonderful opportunity to bring the community back to the Gallery, bring up to date the Gallery’s large Olsen collection, and to raise the profile and awareness of the Foundation.
It was a huge gamble but one that has paid off handsomely, both in generous benefaction and community excitement. King Sun and the Hunter 2016 (originally to be known as The river is a strong brown God) caps off an amazing collection of Olsens owned by the Gallery.
We still need to raise some funds to cover the entire cost, but now that the work is no longer just an idea but can be viewed, the Board believes that, by the end of the Exhibition, we will have recouped nearly all of our outlay.
The Foundation did fund one other acquisition this year. To commemorate the death of the Gallery’s first director Gil Docking, Paul White’s exquisite pencil on paper Another rest after the rise (rose) was purchased.
Our priorities this year were numerous but extremely important for the longevity of the Foundation. They were to: increase donor/membership base, strengthen Governance, protect the capital base whilst underwriting a major work, improve communication with members and the NCC, promote of the Foundation Brand and improve the skillset of the Board. These have all been achieved but are important issues for future years too.
The launching of the website early in 2016 played a pivotal part in achieving our goals. The website also ensures security of donation information and the managing of smaller donations so that donors can work towards membership.
The Foundation envisages a year of consolidation in 2017. Keep an eye on the website for upcoming events. We will also be advocating for a Gallery redevelopment wherever and whenever appropriate.
It will be another busy year. My thanks and gratitude go to the diversely skilled, energetic Foundation Board members and to those non- Board members co-opted to the various committees. Their volunteering of enormous amounts of time and their generous benefaction ensure that the Foundation is strongly governed, financially sound and enjoyable to be part of.
I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing co-operation and help the Gallery staff provide. Without their ready willingness to allow us to hold functions in the Gallery, our task would be a lot more difficult.
My sincere thanks, too, go to you, the members. Your appreciation of what the Board does and your ongoing support and enthusiasm gives us the energy to succeed with our vision of being recognised as the leading regional art gallery Foundation, supporting the best regional Art Gallery.