A guest Blog by Shirley Dougan - President of the Ferntree Gully Arts Society
"I loved those 9 days of MAVA...
...and I felt a sense of loss when the last piece of artwork was picked up from The Hut Gallery in Ferntree Gully, where some 40 artists had participated in an exhibition of their works in our newly renovated gallery.
Last August, smooth, white, beautiful walls replaced the multiple-painted hessian-covered board, that indicated the age of this building which started life as an army hut and was moved to the present site way back in 1947. Three years earlier the Ferntree Gully Arts Society had been formed by Allan and Peg Lowe to help raise money for servicemen and women returning home from the second world war.
Since then many artists have passed through the gallery doors of our community-focused organisation, with the latest being members of MAVA Inc. who showcased a variety of artworks in March. It was especially good to have sculpture and ceramics in the gallery and we look forward to more of these to fill our sculpture garden - once a weedy barren area, now a peaceful and contemplative space - which opened back in 2019.
This was the first time that we had hired the gallery to an outside group and just under 200 people visited the exhibition, over the nine days of it being open.
This included about seventy who rocked up for the opening night and set the gallery buzzing with excited chatter. Artists, family and friends were entertained throughout the evening with One More Weekend’s frontman Connor Dougan and lead guitarist Tim Aslett who performed acoustic versions of a number of their original songs.
We have often had the full band at our Street Art exhibition openings, but felt that perhaps slightly ‘turned down’ versions of their songs might be more conducive to an audience that was clearly excited to be out and about after so many months of lockdown.
When we finally bumped out on the tenth of March the outcome included four exhibition sales and six new Ferntree Gully Arts Society members. Needless to say, we are excited to have these new artists join us and look forward to seeing more of their work hanging in The Hut Gallery and featured in our sculpture garden.
If you’re an artist living in Victoria and want to share your creative journey with other artists, I suggest that you join the MAVA group and if you’re within coo-ee of Ferntree Gully come and join us. You’ll be able to exhibit your artwork, join in workshops and become engaged socially.
Ferntree Gully Arts Society Inc."