South Canterbury Art Society
Proposed Art Society.A preliminary meeting was held in the Borough Council Chambers on Wednesday to consider a proposal to establish an Art Society in Timaru. The attendance was not so large as was hoped for by the promoters, but there were about five-and-twenty ladies and gentlemen present.
Dr R. S. Reid presided, and expressed strong sympathy with the project, and a hope that it would be enthusiastically supported, as Timaru was very backward in art matters. They might be content to begin in a small way, hoping to enlarge their borders. The initial cost would be trifling, and the fees for membership need not be heavy. He asked Messrs Blake and Ferrier, who had been the moving spirits in the matter, to give their views.
Mr E. M. Blake read a synopsis of objects for the society. These were, generally, to encourage and advance original talent and the fine arts in Timaru and South Canterbury, by providing a room for the purposes of the society; by exhibiting instructive works, to give active members an opportunity of improving by comparing their work with good examples and by friendly discussion and criticism; by holding regular exhibitions by meeting for simultaneous practice by; arranging trips for sketching from nature; any surplus funds to be expended in the purchase of selected works, to remain the property pf the society. Mr. Blake read encouraging letters from Mr C. Garsia, hon. secretary and treasurer to the Canterbury Society of Arts, and Mr. G. H. Elliot, master of the Christchurch School of Art. The latter suggested that the platform of the society be made as broad, as possible, so as to include all class of art work in every possible material; and that art taste and talent should be encouraged by every possible means to flow into other channels than picture painting, channels equally worthy of the highest talent. It was a false idea that art means pictures only, and the society could not do a grander work than to oppose this idea, and encourage the application of art to industry.
Mr Ferrier also read a set of suggestions, as to the objects the society should have in view. It should promote a taste for art and stimulate art students by holding annual exhibitions of all works pertaining to fine arts, by members of the society, together with loan articles of like kinds, with the object of affording mutual help by comparison of work and friendly criticism; assisting artists to dispose of their work by sale or art union and encourage young artists by offering prizes for certain subjects, the exhibitions, loan collections of the best works procurable should be,obtained as a means of education. Further, the society should encourage original work by organising sketching clubs, and meetings should be held say once a quarter, when papers might be read by member's on subjects connected with art. Any surplus funds should be devoted to the purchase of works of art, to form the nucleus of a permanent collection, and of works to form an art library. Mr Ferrier did not approve of the proposal to burden the society with the cost of a permanent room. He did not see what practical use it would be.
Mr J. Jackson thought a room would be useful, and that the hall of the Institute would be suitable. A general discussion on various points took place, and the following resolutions were carried unanimously
Proposed by Messrs E. Holdgate and T. Wagstaff — "That it is desirable to form an Art Society."
By Messrs Jackson and Ferrier — "That the society be entitled the South Canterbury Art Society."
By Mr Jackson and Archdeacon Harper - "That a sub-committee be appointed to draft rules, the committee to consist of the chairman, Messrs Blake, Farrier, Rule, Hardcastle and Holdgate."
On the motion of Mr Wagstaff the meeting was adjourned till Monday next, to receive the report of the committee. The rules of the Christchurch Society were partly considered, and so far approved.
It was also agreed that the subscription fees should be 5s per annum for working members and 10s per annum for ordinary members; members of kindred societies to be honorary members.
A vote of thanks to the chairman closed the meeting.
Timaru Herald, Volume LVIII, Issue 1854, 30 August 1895, Page 4