History of the Redcliffe Art Society

The Redcliffe Art Society (RAS) has always worked for the pursuit of excellence in art, while encouraging artists to enjoy practicing their work and learning new skills. The members enjoy daily art classes, workshops conducted by national tutors and a fully maintained library. RAS presents regular art exhibitions in its gallery and has a diversity of arts and crafts for sale in its gallery shop. The aim of RAS is to provide the means for artists to exhibit and grow through sharing the experience of exploring art practice together.

RAS originated in 1957 with the first exhibition, 'The Clontarf Beach Art Contest' , which was held in a ballroom in the Ace of Club's Arcade. The Ace of Clubs became the headquarters for the Society for several years and now houses the Seaside Artists' Gallery. The winning painting 'The Pier, Woody Point' was by Betty Quelhurst, who went on to donate nine paintings to the Redcliffe Art Collection in 2003.

In 1958 the exhibition was renamed 'The Woody Point Art Contest' and then in 1959 the name was changed to 'The Redcliffe Centenary Art Contest' to celebrate Redcliffe being named a city. In December 1960, the first meeting of the Redcliffe Art Society was held. It wasn't until 1961 however that RAS was officially constituted as the 'Redcliffe Art Contest Society' with membership invited. The same year, a monthly newsletter was produced, which continues to this day.

1981 saw RAS make changes to the Constitution, becoming the 'Redcliffe Art Society Incorporated' and in 1983 RAS moved to new premises in a church building in Margate. In 1986, it relocated to the Redcliffe Leagues Club Building on Lamington Drive.

RAS ran an annual 'Spring Exhibition' until 1996 and the Redcliffe City Council acquired the winning entries which became the Redcliffe Art Collection. With the amalgamation of Councils, these paintings were absorbed into the Moreton Bay Regional Council's collection. In 1996 the exhibition was taken over by Council and became the '15 Artists Exhibition'. The RAS annual exhibition continued and was renamed the 'RASart Exhibition of Excellence' in 2009 by then RAS President, John Pollock. The overall winner of the 'RASart Exhibition of Excellence' is automatically invited to enter the 15 Artists Exhibition. The other 14 artists are chosen by an advisory committee appointed by Council.

In 1999, a committee formed by RAS, organised a petition which was presented to the Council. This resulted in the building of the present Redcliffe Regional Gallery.

In 2010, the Society organised its inaugural national Open Art Contest 'RASGO' (sponsored by the Redcliffe Art Society and the Golden Ox Restaurant, Margate).

The 'First Fifty' art exhibition was held in 2011 in the Redcliffe Cultural Centre to celebrate 50 years of the formal existence of RAS.

On 28 February 2015, the refurbished Old Redcliffe Fire Station was officially opened by Cr Allan Sutherland, then the Mayor of Moreton Bay Regional Council and Yvette D'Ath MP, State Member for Redcliffe.

The Old Fire Station Community Arts and Volunteer Hub has three tenants - the Redcliffe Art Society, the Redcliffe Potters' Group and the MBRC Volunteers Hub.

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