About St George Art Society
The St George Art Society welcomes all those who love art, whether you are an experienced or budding artist. SGAS is a vibrant, exciting art group where members share their common interest of art in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere.
- The St George Art Society was inaugurated in 1944 ‘for the encouragement of art in the St George district’, to develop the practice of art and art appreciation.
- The St George Art Society maintains the ideals of its founders – for the encouragement of art. We are a non-profit organisation managed by volunteers who actively organise regular workshops, demonstrations, critiques and art shows for members to exhibit and sell their artwork.
- Experienced tutors provide a wide range of art classes.
- Our group is a friendly one, never intimidating. Members can work in a variety of mediums and styles, with their artistic experience varying from beginners to professional artists.
- We welcome new members and visitors.
In April, 2018, the Hon. Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the Hon. David Coleman, Federal Member for Banks, presented Jean Harrow, President of SGAS with a Banks Volunteer Award for her services to St George Art Society.
From Jean Harrow:
“Thank you to the SGAS committee for nominating me for this award. I feel very honoured and thankful that we have such a formidable team at St George.”
Jean Harrow (centre) Past President of SGAS from 2014 to 2020
Under the founder and first President, Alf Chamber, membership was restricted and selective. Prospective male-only members were required to submit at least two paintings to be judged by a membership selection committee. Today, membership of the Society is open to all artists and to anyone interested in art. The Society is now more inclusive and innovative in its approach to membership as well as the practice of art. One of the founding lady members was Nancy Wilkinson, after whom our contemporary award is named. Nancy lives on the south coast of New South Wales and still keeps in touch. Membership today is open to all artists, from beginners to professional, and those interested in art.
The first meeting place in 1944 was 307 Forest Road, Hurstville. This was rent free due to the generosity of our Patron, The Hon. Clive Evatt. Membership fees at that time were 10 shillings and sixpence.
In August,1945 the Society took over the rental of Diment’s Building in Hurstville, due to increased membership. In 1947 the society moved once again to larger premises in the Child Care Premises in Hurstville.
There have been a succession of moves, from the Children’s Library, Cross Street, Hurstville (now Westfield); Wal Chandler’s Barber Shop in Hudson Street, Hurstville; the Kogarah School of Arts; the Scout Hall, South Hurstville; the Civic Centre Kogarah; the South Hurstville Bowling Club and finally, for a second time, to our current location at the Kogarah School of Arts.
Nancy Menetrey (nee Wilkinson) was the first woman to be accepted into the St George Art Society and paved the way for the future female members.
In 1958 Nancy’s work was accepted in the Archibald Prize.
Our Past Presidents
1944 – 1950 Alfred Chambers 1951 – 1966 Walter Bennett
1970 – 1972 Vern Newman
1973 – 1974 Bruce Hodge
1975 – 1976 Mary Kirkby
1976 – 1977 Joe Green
1978 – 1979 Ron Walker
1980 – 1995 John Hingerty
1995 – 1998 Charles Kooyman
1999 – 2000 Leeka Gruzdeff
2000 – 2011 Don Kibble AOCA
2011 – 2014 George Comino OAM
2014 – 2020 Jean Harrow
Current President: Jim West