Nov 07 2014

Tennis Club Art Group

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Contact:  Angela Regan 02 6227 4212  |

When trying to describe their art group, the word “amateur” comes to mind but falls short of the mark.  Considering decorated artists like James Shannon and Lorri Blackwell are on the Tennis Club Art Class roll call, it would almost be disrespectful to infer that this was a beginners class.

Under the tuition of well known Yass artist John McClung, the members, who meet every Monday morning with their easels and brushes in tow, are now finishing off the last of their paintings as their annual exhibition approaches.

Mr McClung has been working with the group for more than three years and takes pleasure in seeing some of the less experienced members develop as artists.

“You just have to look at Fay [Rae] for instance. When she first joined she told me – ‘You’ll have to help me I have no artistic experience at all’, now look at what she’s creating,” he said proudly pointing to her painting.

There are others like Mr Shannon and Mrs Blackwell, who have had their own exhibitions.  Mr Shannon has been in the game for a long time.   In 2013 Shannon  painted a mural on the outside of the ‘Barney’s of Bookham’ cafe, while Mrs Blackwell was most recently one of the marquee artists at the YASSarts exhibition at Oddfellows’ Hall.

The other members, according to Angela Regan, really appreciate having those two and John McClung involved.

“I mean the others all sell regularly as well but those two in particular have been really successful and along with John we have so much knowledge and experience to call on,” Mrs Regan explained.

Mr McClung is quick to call himself a ‘co-ordinator’ rather than a teacher, but the group tend to disagree

“John  pushes us” says Mrs Rae “We really value his opinion and it makes a huge difference having him guide us.”

Mr McClung follows on from well-known predecessors like Janet Dawson (Archibald Prize winner), Roger Moore and Pamela Lowe, with the group having been in existence since the late 1960s.

The longest serving current member is Brenda Bush, who’s been working on her technique every Monday for the past 14 years.