Did you know that 55% of respondents to our recent online survey are between the ages of 55-64, 81% of respondents were female and 44.3% identify as full-time artists. We had 255 responses, a healthy sample of our membership. The survey answers questions such as what members want from TACA and where they are most keen to engage. It is clear from the 96% engagement with the Journal that members love the print magazine (as do I!) and there was overwhelming support from our members to continue to run workshops.
There were many suggestions from members on what we could strengthen within the organisation and these included running workshops in different states and President and committee members visiting regional parts of Australia. I think these are great ideas and if any regional groups are interested in hosting TACA workshops or other activities that TACA can help with by coming to their region all you have to do is get in touch. It was clear from many of the responses that the awareness of what TACA can do and how we are funded needs clarifying. In contrast to many national arts organisations we are not run by a team of highly paid arts bureaucrats. Our office consists of two people (one part-time) and the entire activities of The Australian Ceramics Association, from publishing the magazine through to visiting regional groups, supporting the administration of national ceramics events, publicity, open studios, membership queries and issues with the website and a myriad of other tasks, are funded by you, the members! The hardworking TACA committee, including me as President, are all volunteers. TACA does not receive government funding and I think this makes our organisation unique in it’s flexibility and capacity to respond to suggestions from our most important resource … the members!
Some suggestions that I particularly liked were:
* The initiation of a Glaze Page that anyone could contribute to
* Interstate engagement
* Working on encouraging teachers in primary and secondary schools to increase their knowledge and engagement with clay
* Online sales opportunities for members
Members are welcome to contact us with practical suggestions and plans for putting ceramic projects in place. The ideas coming out of the survey are fantastic. If you have a proposal for your region please put together a plan and get in touch.
The Film Festival at the Australian Ceramics Triennale is coming together. Be prepared to be amazed and inspired by the beautiful, diverse, talent of ceramicists from around Australia. TACA will have a stall at the Triennale where there will be magazines, books, DVDs and limited edition potter’s aprons and Vicki, Rachel and I will be in attendance to have a chat and answer your questions. The other exciting business TACA facilitates at every Triennale is a meeting to decide on when and where future Triennales will be held and which group/s that will take it on. The venue and time is: Friday 10 July at 4.30pm in the Lecture Theatre of the ANU School of Art.
Work on TACA’s constitution continues. A sub-committee has met a couple of times and we are working through updating and simplifying the constitution to reflect the activities and purpose of The Australian Ceramics Association as it goes into the future.
This month I was at the Gold Coast Potters running a decorating workshop. I love visiting regional groups and am always encouraged and inspired by the warm welcome and the breadth of ceramic practice throughout Australia. The Gold Coast Potters are a wonderful group and run a lively series of workshops with visiting artists throughout the year. I was thrilled to see their gallery in the Old Post Office that is part of the complex of buildings where they are based and I came home with some beautiful work from Megan Puls and Anne Mossman.