The Packsaddle exhibition committee is a not-for-profit group of volunteers that aims to support the New England Regional Art Museum.
What is Packsaddle?
Packsaddle is an annual fundraising exhibition, held at NERAM. We sell artworks sent by galleries and individual artists from all over Australia so people in Armidale and the New England Region get an opportunity to see and buy works by emerging and well-established artists. We do not usually exhibit local artists who have exhibitions at nearby galleries.
The first exhibition was held in the home of Beverley and Owen Wright in 1985. The Wright’s called their home “Packsaddle” because the flat roof-line reminded them of such a saddle. Owen’s saddle, used on many trips, is now our emblem and is on display at all Packsaddle exhibitions.
Who are the Packsaddlers?
A group of volunteers who love art and want to share that love. The four original Packsaddlers were: June Atherton, Pat Elkin, Benoni Pearson and Beverley Wright. Packsaddle currently has 10 members with founder, Pat Elkin, still active as Patron.
The committee members are: Shirley Cooke, Liz Fulloon, Glenda Kupczyk Romanczuk, Moira Lloyd, Merran Pearson, Michelle Schouten, Anne White and Alison Wright.
How do we raise funds?
We accept works for sale on commission. If the work comes direct from an artist, we take the standard gallery commission. If the work comes through a gallery, we share commission with the gallery. Either way, the artist is paid and supported – that is one of our aims. Because so many artworks are offered, those that cannot be hung are in folios for you to look through and choose from.
What does Packsaddle Fund?
Our main aim is to acquire new works to supplement the splendid collections at NERAM. Since Packsaddle began, the Packsaddle Fundraisers have taken well in excess of a million dollars in sales and have been able to support NERAM with the purchase of a new hanging system, mobile scaffolding and improved lighting; we have earmarked funds for the conservation of the Howard Hinton Collection and have put money towards over 50 acquisitions for the permanent collection. We have also contributed the funds for the Packsaddle Artist Studio which is in frequent use for art workshops for adults and for children alike. The Studio also has separate self-contained accommodation for visiting artists.
We are proud of our role in the quest to acquire Margaret Olley’s Yellow Room Triptych.
What can you do to support us?
You can buy an artwork from 6 pm on opening night until 4 pm on closing day. Artworks range in price from $99 to $12,000 so there is something for everyone. You can also buy a raffle ticket and have the chance to win a work for just $5. We accept credit cards, direct deposit, cash or cheque.