It is with great regret that the Committee have cancelled this year's exhibition.
Jim Robson, our Chair, wrote the following explaining why.
Over the past 30 years Milnthorpe Art Exhibition has provided an entertaining event each summer up to 2019. The Exhibition has been popular with visitors and artists, and together we have raised over £180,000 for St Thomas’ Church Building Fund and other charities and good causes that serve local people.
The Exhibition was cancelled in 2020 due to statutory Covid restrictions and in 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic making people reluctant to volunteer. The Exhibition is very complex and requires sufficient volunteers to help with receiving the display stands from store and building them in St Thomas’ Church, receiving around 700 paintings, hanging about 400 paintings, stewarding, catering, selling about a third of paintings displayed and finally returning unsold paintings, dismantling the display stands and lighting and moving them to store.
Sadly, the call for volunteers for the 2022 Exhibition has again resulted in a significant shortfall. The Management Committee feels it cannot operate safely or commit expenditure without sufficient volunteers in place, so it has decided to cancel the Exhibition once again.
The future of the Exhibition will be determined at the Annual General Meeting in November 2022. Some members of the current Management Committee, including myself have indicated that they will not be standing for the Committee again. It needs a Committee of around 8 dedicated Members to run the Exhibition safely and successfully with the help of around 40 volunteers. I do not feel that it will be possible to recruit these numbers in a changing world, so I will be recommending that we should celebrate our success over 30 years, but disband the Exhibition at the AGM.