There is a changing of the guard at Forbes Arts Society.
At the recent AGM Dr Karen Ritchie Chairwoman of Forbes Arts Society officially stepped back and Trudy Mallick was overwhelmingly voted in to take the chair position.
Karen may have stepped down from the chair, but she has taken the role of Secretary and Dr Keith Mullette remains as the ordinary member.
"During my two-year term as President of the Forbes Arts Society (FAS), much effort has been expended commencing and progressing the projects of the NSW State Government Restart Grant program - 'Boosting the Lachlan Valley Economy through Art Embedded in our Amazing Environment, Forbes NSW'," Karen said, reflecting on her time in the chair.
"I would like to extend thanks and appreciation to our project partners, the NSW State Government, Forbes Shire Council, Lachlan Shire Council and Evolution Mining as we all work to build increased sustainability through tourism into the communities of the Lachlan Valley region."
The project consists of the Sculpture Down the Lachlan public art trail between Forbes and Condobolin; the redevelopment of Gum Swamp; and the renovation of the former Forbes Ambulance Station into an art gallery and cultural hub.
"The past two years have been incredibly busy but very exciting and stimulating and I would like to extend my thanks to the hard-working members of the FAS Board - Vice President Helen Hurley, Treasurer Stuart Thomas and members Warwick Rolfe, Keith Mullette, Trudy Mallick, Wendy Muffet and Joy Russell," Karen said.
"I offer my support to incoming President Trudy Mallick and know that FAS and its major projects will thrive under her guidance."
Karen also extends her thanks to the founders of the Arts Society past and present and the many hard-working volunteers and friends of the gallery over the past years, without them it would not have survived.
Trudy said she was indebted to the work Karen had commenced, and looked forward to seeing the completion of the building and the sculpture trail in 2022.
"The next twelve months will be an exciting and no doubt challenging time for all of us, however the sculpture trail and bird hides will be wonderful attractions and the culture centre will be an incredible meeting place and art gallery for the townspeople and visitors to Forbes alike," she said.
The other big change for Forbes Arts Society is Platypus Gallery is going into a temporary hiatus while the new culture centre is built.
The centre will host a brand-new Platypus Gallery, along with a gallery for touring artwork, event rooms and a contemporary cafe.
The artists and artisans of the gallery will still be working hard at their craft preparing to hang and display in the new build.
Platypus Gallery closes in its present location on January 15, 2022, and all the works will still be in the shop except they will all be online.
Everyone can still shop at https://forbesartssociety.com/ and for an easy purchase and the product will be posted or click and collect from the artists home or agreed upon location.
Trudy encourages all of the existing artists to keep on with their craft and invites new artists and artisans to join the gallery and display their pieces on the website shop, and eventually in the new Platypus Gallery.
"Forbes Arts Society also have exciting new initiatives forthcoming in the new year that we think the whole town will get to participate in," she said.
The $7.2 million 'Boosting the Lachlan Valley Economy Art Project', which is proudly funded by the NSW Government's Regional Growth - Environment and Tourism Fund, the Forbes Arts Society, Forbes Shire Council, Lachlan Shire Council and Evolution Mining.