Happy New Year! I hope that you had a fun holiday season with family and friends. I welcome you back to another year with the Friends and look forward to seeing you at the various wonderful programmes we have planned for the Spring.
Our 35th anniversary celebrations ended with the Gala Dinner on the 10th November. It was a fantastic evening with old friends and new, and the warmth and friendship in the room was wonderful. We were pleased that several previous Chairs attended the dinner, which was a testament to the devotion the Friends instils in its members. Our previous chair, Dominica Yang, presented the Art Museum with several gifts from funds raised by the 35th Anniversary Collectors Circle, which was launched during her term.
Due to our very hectic fall schedule, we missed our annual Garden Party, which is usually an opportunity for the students to display their work, and a much-anticipated event for our members. So, we decided to include the student art show at our Annual General Meeting; slightly unconventional, but successful for the students and our members. The event was supported by our host, Willis Towers Watson. Many thanks to Rhiannon Alban Davies and her wonderful team who made it possible. Rhiannon was also our AGM speaker with amusing tales of misadventures in the art world.
The AGM also gave us an opportunity to present our annual student awards. We presented 12 awards from the Friends and one from the Madeline Tang Foundation to some talented and gifted artists. It is such a pleasure for the Friends to support young artists through these awards. We are proud that previous award recipients have gone on to be represented by local and international art galleries and their work has been exhibited at major art fairs.
The Friends’ board has had some changes. Cynthia Lackey, our vice-chair and products person, is returning home. We will miss her quiet, efficient, and effective presence. Candice Lee is taking over from Cynthia and I look forward to tapping into her Asia Week experience. Linda Ferguson is co-ordinating events with great gusto, and I am absolutely delighted with her energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge. Jennifer Kozel is taking responsibility for managing products and she brings with her a great deal of museum experience. We will miss Laure Raibaut’s knowledge and experience, as she steps down this year. Vicki Li is joining the board as our second Young Friends representative, and as the Young Friends membership continues to grow, I am sure she will be very busy organising interesting and unusual events. Gillian Kew and Therese Lesaffre are both remaining on the board, but with reduced responsibilities.
There are a lot of things happening this spring, so please watch out for details in the FFF. Study group will focus on focus on architecture this Spring. And our gallery group tours are starting again. We hope to bring you a wide variety of events; from private collections and artist studio visits to museum exhibitions and art fairs. I look forward to seeing you at these various events.
We have four travel destinations planned for this year. The itineraries have been carefully considered to be interesting and exciting. We expect them to be popular, so book early to avoid disappointment.
Please have a look at our products pages. We have some wonderful new products that are very reasonably priced, especially the shopping bags.
I would like to thank Pearl Lam for being our Newsletter sponsor. Without this support, we would be unable to produce this high-quality publication.
Lastly, I would like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy year of the Rooster.