In 1889, a group of art-minded friends started meeting once a month in Nelson to paint, share drawings and contribute ideas.
Now 130 years on, and many artworks and members later, the Suter Art Society is one of the oldest art groups in the country.
Founded by Bishop Suter as the Bishopdale Sketching Club some 10 years before the Suter Art Gallery opened, the society is still nurturing, developing and promoting art in the region.
With a dedicated exhibition space within the gallery, they offer memberships and benefits, include exhibiting, workshops, trips and events. President Larisse Hall says with over 200 members, they are continuing to grow.
“This year we had 40 membership applications with over 20 accepted. From what we can remember, that is the most we’ve ever had.”
Their annual Cash n Carry exhibition opened last week, where you can purchase work from members on the spot.
Larisse says 197 artworks have been submitted for the exhibition, ranging from paintings, photography and ceramics to sculptures and glass.
“As works sell, they will be replaced with a new piece, so people have the opportunity to come back for something different.”
The exhibition runs until February 2.
Meanwhile, Larisse says they are always looking for more people to help carry on their legacy.
“We want more volunteers stepping up and getting involved so we can keep it going for another 130 years.”