Art Group

The Art Group meets on Saturdays in the Nagambie Primary School Art Room from 1:00pm – 4:00pm.

Come and share, learn, and enjoy the company. We help one another.

Group Leader: Sonia Aspinal

Phone: 0475 429 976

Email: soniaaspinall53@gmail.com

The Community House Art Group has a new leader.

The Community House Art Group has been running for as long as the House itself, but lately it has been going through some changes. Not only are its numbers increasing, but in 2020 the group has also elected a new fearless leader to take up the mantle from Valma Crerar who has chosen to step down. Sonia Aspinall is the farmer’s daughter from Queensland who became a nurse and a midwife, helped start up the Red Hat Society in Australia and moved to Nagambie to be closer to family and help out with the grandkids. We invited Sonia to come have a chat with us about who she is and what she’s hoping to see for the Art Group in the future. 

Sonia originally comes from Darling Downs, a farming region on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range in souther Queensland. Her family ran a sheep and cattle property near the border of New South Wales. “I was born in Dirranbandi”, Sonia begins to tell me. “My father’s family owned many stations of which the million acre Cubbie Station at Dirranbandi was made up, before being split up by the Government and sold to the Chinese to grow cotton. Sonia herself however, went on to train to become a nurse and later midwife. Painting she says, wasn’t something she had time to indulge in during her working years. “My interest in art came from my childhood, but back in 1984 I had the chance to receive tutoring from a famous dutch painter and I continued on from there. For four years I trained in oils but when I moved to Nagambie in 2012, Valma encouraged med to also try other mediums, like acrylic. It was the reverse of what I was used to and I struggled for a few years to learn how to do it properly. Today, I do all mediums, pastels, acrylic, oils…”

Sonia’s favourite painter, she tells me when I ask, is Uruguayan Alvaro Castagnet. “He is close to being the world’s top water colourist, but paints all mediums as well. His vibrance and colours, his ability to teach is just incredibly! I like everything about him! He is in his late 50s and sometimes he comes to Melbourne to do tutoring. I’ve been to one of his lessons, but you can also communicate with him via the Internet…”  

As for the future of the Art Group, Sonia very humbly states she is hoping to keep everyone interested. “First and foremost I want it to be a friendly place where people can come and relax and express themselves and enjoy the day. I wish for it to have a relaxing, quiet atmosphere and that people leave their other businesses or worries at the door. Right now we average around 12 people who come, but four more have asked if they can come along. Everyone is welcome of course!”

Sonia says she would also like to continue having exhibitions in other towns, which would bring about an opportunity for people to both showcase their art work as well as sell them. “I know some aren’t interested in doing that, which is fine, but for those who are I would love to help create opportunities where the art can be put on display, instead of just sit inside a cupboard. In the past we’ve had successful exhibitions in Euroa, Rushworth and other little towns around the district; hopefully we can do that again.”

Anna