AGM and Letter to Members August 2021


Dear Members,

Warsash Art Group's Annual General Meeting, St. Mary’s Church Hall on Thursday 2nd September, 7.00pm for 7.30pm.

WAG needs you! Please take the time to read on:

Provided everything remains unlocked Covid-wise, Warsash Art Group’s delayed 2021 Annual General Meeting will be held as above.  We will be using the fire door to enter the hall and not the main entrance. Please attend if you can. I know it’s holiday time and lots else happening. The timing isn’t ideal, but this meeting is overdue, and we don’t know when will next have the opportunity.

We would have liked our first meeting in person since March 2020 to have been a more informal one, but the continuing existence of this Group is at stake - we need people to fill roles. Most urgently, a new Treasurer to replace Jane who is standing down due to ongoing health issues. She has done her best this year in the absence of anyone else volunteering, but she no longer feels qualified to carry out this role fully. She is willing to continue as an Ordinary Committee member and support her successor, but WAG will be forced to close if we cannot replace her. I, Joan Lee, need now to stand down as Secretary.  I no longer have the time or energy to do everything involved properly or effectively. Throughout the pandemic it’s been very much a case of muddling through on my own. I too am prepared to continue as Ordinary Committee member, handling all things tech behind the scenes, including keeping members up to date by email and maintaining the content of our website and social media. I’ll be cutting back on everything else. It’s also on the condition that we have a full Committee with all the vacant roles filled,  meaning no one is overloaded at any time of year. We will be needing at least a Newsletter Editor and people to produce other documents such the annual Programme Booklet and all the forms we use; print and post paper copies to our non-emailing members. The timing of those has meant awkward clashes with other art activities etc. Ideally too,  a back-up e-messenger to send out  emails with deadlines if / when I’m not available.

We have considered alternatives to closure in the absence of a Treasurer, involving vague ideas about Members roping in family members or employing a professional. Certainly, the latter would involve considerable expense, meaning subscriptions would have to increase accordingly. Someone from within our membership would also have a better understanding of what we’re about (Art). It would be very sad if it was Game Over, with the with the disposal assets: this Group is more than sixty years old, and we had all been hoping we’d be back to normal by now.

Sarisbury Green Community Centre is booked for untutored Wednesday painting sessions for ten weeks from 15th September, 1.00 – 3.00pm. We also hope to resume tutored Tuesday the following week (21st September, for ten weeks). We’re sorry we haven’t been able to plan anything else. 

It has been very difficult to plan anything amid continuing uncertainty and constantly changing rules, but our activities don’t happen by themselves.  The cancellation of our Annual Exhibition for the second year running was as much due to the lack of a full team making it happen as the pandemic. When Rachael  and Fi stood down as joint Exhibition Organisers, Mike R took over the running of the show. Barbara C said she would continue to assist, and thank you to Diane H volunteered earlier this year, but there was no one to replace Rachael as Entries Coordinator (handle the admin). Planning for the show normally starts in January. This year, restrictions during the winter lockdown through to May precluded them from meeting in person in good time.  Anyone with experience of running exhibitions will understand the considerable amount of work involved before, during and after the event.

Modern digital technology (tech) has taken the edge off isolation and has been very enabling for some people, but not everyone. We organised two virtual demonstrations earlier this year and the Committee have been meeting virtually since last November, but it’s not the same as meeting in person, especially for those who are not confident in using tech. One prominent member likened using Zoom to “walking on the Moon” recently. Even relatively tech-confident people like me find tech doesn’t always behave as expected and can be frustrating. This is partly why the bulk of what you’re heard from WAG over the past 18 months has come from me (Joan).  If it has it’s seemed woolly, incoherent or full of loose ends at times, it’s because I’ve become more tired as the year’s gone on, with competing demands for my attention.

If you can step up, we’d really appreciate it: a blank copy of the Committee Nomination sheet was emailed to Members on 30th July along with this letter as a separate file attachment. Normally this is displayed in the hall two meetings ahead of the AGM, but as that hasn’t been possible, please email me (Joan) your intention to stand, or  contact any other Committee member via the contact details given in the above email. You will then need to sign the form at or before the AGM. You can stand for any position: alongside or against any of the current members who intend to continue.

Kind regards,

Joan Lee, Secretary, Warsash Art Group



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