Baring the soul in artful display

Exhibiting a work of art can be a daunting experience.

It renders the artist simultaneously vulnerable and empowered, soul laid bare on the canvas.

Or as Moe Arts Society president Ken Downs describes it – “similar to running naked across the dance floor for the first time”.

“You bare your soul. Your artwork is you and you’re putting it in amongst others who you admire so much and you think, ‘how’s it going to measure up’?” Mr Downs said.

“It’s the greatest buzz to see your work up against others you admire in the art world, and it gives you that encouragement to keep going.

“It’s nice to be able to put your work up and have people see it.”

Moe Arts Society members will set themselves up for that gambit of emotions when they host their annual show on 5-6 November at the Old Gippstown Lodge.

A range of pieces will be displayed from members, who work with mediums such as acrylics, oils, drawings, pastels, watercolour and everything in between.

Mr Downs, who has been working with watercolour for the past 25 years, said there was some exceptional artwork in the mix.

“It’s surprising what’s going on… people don’t realise how talented some of our members are.”

The group formed in 1976 and meets Thursday mornings to paint, socialise and catch up for a cuppa.

“They’ve been painting for a long time – some of the originals are still around and they’re as enthusiastic today as they were then,” Mr Downs said.

About 20 to 25 people regularly attend and the club has about 30 members.

Mr Downs said the society was open to anyone with an interest in testing their artistic flair, with some tuition and help available for newcomers.

“We encourage the social side of it more than anything really,” he said.

The Moe Arts Society will host its annual exhibition at the Old Gippstown Lodge – within the Old Gippstown Heritage Park – on 5-6 November.

Works will be for sale throughout the weekend.

For more information about the group or the exhibition phone society secretary Bev Reed on 0458 245 888.