A long-running Launceston art group has launched their summer exhibition, sprawling through six rooms and two floors of the historic Eskleigh Home in Perth.
The exhibition, from the Launceston Art Society – or LAS – brings together artists from a wide range of ages and abilities from a membership base of 170 people.
“There’s no real theme to this one, it’s just a group of works from our talented artists,” said LAS publicity officer Shirley Pitt.
“There’s also a special wall dedicated to to the work of residents with assistance of the LAS volunteers.”
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The Eskleigh Foundation provides care for people with disabilities out of a newer facility at the rear of the property, who are able to participate in weekly art therapy classes run by the Eskleigh-based LAS – classes which have now been running for 10 years.
“They really enjoy it,” said Mrs Pitt.
LAS members have also worked with aged care residents at Glenara Lakes and Peace Haven.
The society also hosts a range of workshops for members to grow their practice, and share with others.
“A lot of our members attend our workshops to improve their skills,” Mrs Pitt said.
“We exhibit people just starting their art journeys, as well as work from more recognised artists who have already made a name for themselves.
“It’s a variety of art work from a range of abilities.”
It is unclear when LAS – formerly the Launceston Drawing Club – was established, but its first exhibition was held on 19th November 1891 in the offices of Ritchie and Parkers’ in St John Street, Launceston.
While art education was in its infancy, LAS played an important role in broadening the range of art available to the local community.
A number of celebrated artists have exhibited with the society since its foundation. Many of Tasmania's leading art teachers have exhibited, judged and worked on the LAS committee.
Among them are the first LAS president – Mary Greig – Louisa Swan, Lucien Dechaineaux, Laura Dean, Jack Carrington Smith, Dorothy Stoner, Robert Campbell, Mildred Lovett, Vern Hodgman, Hope Evershed, Geoff Tyson and Alan McIntyre.
In 2016, the society celebrated its 125th anniversary.
LAS president Carolyn Riley was thrilled with the launch of the new exhibition.
“The place is beautiful in itself, it’s a great arts space,” she said.
“Art is really the bones of a community, isn’t it?”
- The LAS Summer Exhibition is open daily at Eskleigh from 10.30am to 4pm until Sunday, February 4
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