A Community of Supportive Artists

Kyneton Art Group was formed in 1977 and is still going strong more than forty years later. We spoke to the president, Anna McGrath, to find out more about how they operate. Anna has been in the role for around 5 years and says she was originally drawn to the group because, “I painted and drew, and had always been interested in art. So the moment I got a chance to join, I did, to meet people like myself”.

The main purpose of the group is to provide a space where people can create and be supported by fellow artists. The group gathers on Tuesdays between 9 am and 3 pm at the Red Brick Hall in Kyneton for non-tutored painting and drawing sessions. Once a month they have a meeting on the same day to discuss group activities, workshops and art shows. There is an annual membership fee of $45 which permits members to attend the weekly sessions, receive discounts on workshops, and promote and sell their work.

Kyneton Art Group has around 30 members and has grown significantly since the pandemic. Many people have moved into the district post lockdowns and have looked for avenues for their interests. While people of any age, gender and ability are welcome to join, the majority of members are over 50 years of age and women. The community comprises mostly people who are retired and there is a range of abilities, from full-time professional artists to those who have never drawn before. If members are unable to attend weekly meetings due to work commitments, they are still able to participate and exhibit their works either on the group’s website or at in-person events.

Anna says the group is “A lovely bunch of warm and welcoming people who are supportive of each other and offer gentle criticism”. She goes on to say that the advantage of having professional artists right down to beginners means if someone would like direction, other members will assist. Members can create works using a wide range of materials including pastels and watercolours and in a variety of styles. Whilst most sessions take place at the Red Brick Hall, there was lots of Plein air painting (or painting outside in the open air) during covid times.

The group’s work culminates each year in an exhibition on the second weekend of the Kyneton Daffodil Festival, from Friday to Sunday. These pieces are judged and prizes are awarded for various categories. The winners can be viewed on the Kyneton Art Group website.

Anna says the group has been well supported by the local township, whether through businesses, community groups or the local media. They have also recently secured some grants through the council for frames, signs and stands, the latter of which the Kyneton Men’s Shed built.

When asked why she believes Kyneton attracts artists, Anna says that the present hub of creatives entices more to the area, “Like attracts like”. She also notes that the landscape is diverse, that many members have beautiful properties, gardens and farms, and there are plenty of lovely, natural places to explore in the area which serve as inspiration. Anna is particularly inspired by local gardens. She sees something that catches her eye and says, “I’ve got to paint that”.

If you are interested in joining the Kyneton Art Group, you can drop into the Red Brick Hall on a Tuesday, or get in contact via their website. Everyone is welcome!

Kyneton Art Group
Meets Tuesday, 10am – 5pm
Red Brick Hall
23 Yaldwyn Street West, Kyneton