I hope you have all had a great summer, feeling refreshed and ready for our autumn programmes!!
As we begin a new Friends membership year, I would like to thank Alisan Fine Arts for sponsoring our newsletter for this autumn 2014, spring and summer 2015. Alisan has been a pioneer in bringing art to Hong Kong and has continued to support the art scene since the 1970s. We feel very honoured to have their support and we hope to work closely with Daphne King and learn about their artists and how their gallery works.
It is always with sadness each year that we bid farewell to some of our very dedicated volunteers and valued members of the Board, and this year a few key people are stepping down and they are: Diana Williams, Kathie Allderige, Elizabeth Miles and Bonnie Pinkham.
Diana has been our Tours Coordinator for as long as I can remember. She has been the heart and soul of Tours. In her 10 years with the Friends, she has organized over 65 tours, which raised a lot of funds but she has also lifted the profile of Friends and recruited many new members via her trips, which are definitely some of our most popular activities. Many of the achievements of the Friends were made possible by the funds raised by Diana’s tours. Diana advised us of her intention to step down earlier in the year to start her own travel business. We are very grateful that she gave us time to restructure and we wish her the very best in her new business venture. She has always been a most supportive and devoted member of the board. We shall miss her dearly.
Kathie has been our Treasurer for the past two years. Always super-efficient and wise, she has done a splendid job and it has been a delight to have worked with her.
Elizabeth was the main Events Coordinator when I first took over as Chair and we worked very closely together, she is always so calm, positive, sensible - my perfect counselor when I started as Chair - and I have so enjoyed having her on the Board.
Bonnie joined us to help with Products early this year but it certainly felt like longer as she is one of the most enthusiastic and fun volunteers I have worked with. In just six months, she helped produce a whole new line for the autumn and find sponsors. Please look out for our new products at the Fairs as they are absolutely beautiful. It has been my privilege to have worked with such special people.
On a happier note, I would like to welcome some new members and announce some changes on the workforce, a little ahead of our AGM as I write this, on the Board: Belinda Piggott as our Events and Gallery Group Coordinator, Cynthia Lackey as Products Coordinator, Laure Raibaut and Sagiri Dayal as my co-Vice Chairs, Edwin Mok will help manage ‘Collectors Circle & Donations,’ Alexandra Choa as Young Friends Coordinator; and new volunteers Christine Mar and Clementina Cardoso. I also wish to thank Therese Lesaffre for helping coordinate Tours working with various tour guides/operators as the Friends Tours move into a new phase with different and exciting programmes. Susan Kreidler will be our Treasurer - a familiar member whose long time association with the Friends will be a great asset for the position. Sue Sandberg will take over Newsletter from Gillian Kew and will continue to oversee the website. Gillian, who has been the wizard behind the newsletter, will continue to help with our Friends Fortnightly Flash & Events PR. She will also oversee the Library. Patrick will take over the Study Group and continues to run Daytours. I am very thrilled to be working with such a dynamic group.
The Friends are a fun, enthusiastic learning group, and I recently used the slogan in one of our advertising banners- ‘Please come to learn, play and give together!’ - it cannot be more true.
In June the Friends co-hosted Visions to the Future with HongKong Land featuring five emerging local artists, four of whom are from CUHK, all under the age of 26. As Chair, it was a very proud moment. It is the efforts of the whole organization that put this together: supporting art education, bringing art to the community and putting the Art Museum on the map. We are particularly grateful to Hongkong Land for their trust in this project. Sandra Walters and the HongKong Land team were instrumental in making it happen. Alexandra Choa, our Young Friends coordinator, worked tirelessly with the five artists to meet all the deadlines and requirements. I would particularly like to thank LuxSurety Company Limited for providing free transportation for the artwork.
May and June were particularly busy with Art Basel, Visions to the Future and the CUHK Graduate Art show. The Friends were very proud to see the high calibre of work and creativity at the Annual Graduate and Post Graduate Art Shows at CUHK this year.
We thank you all for your continuous participation, contribution and support, whether it is your presence at a talk, tour, lecture, buying our products, participating in Study Group or Daytour, being a volunteer, helping at an activity, sponsoring a project, sharing ideas, giving your time - or for just being a Friend. We are a warm, fun group and together we shall continue to offer a dynamic variety of programmes to our members and community.
Look out for many new activities this season: Painter Stuart Leung will demonstrate his painting styles and talk about his 12 paintings of flowers, Hing Chao will talk about Wong Kar Wai and the Kung Fu Masters for our Martial Arts enthusiasts, Eleanor Wong will share with us her family tales in old Shanghai before the family came down to HK and then start their textile business in her beautiful home, Associate Director Josh Yiu of our very own Art Museum will talk about Collecting Chinese Art from 1910s to 2010s, and many more.
I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming months and please remember my door is always open, so feel free to contact me, should you have ideas to share, time to give, comments and feedback. I love to hear, to know, to learn and to be able to get to know you all better.