Royal Queensland Art Society Official Opening of 2021 Fellows’ Exhibition
President of the Royal Queensland Art Society, Mr Brent O’Neill and members of the Committee; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, and extend greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I were delighted to receive the invitation from your President to join you this afternoon and for me to officially open the 2021 Fellows’ exhibition, honouring excellence in fine art.
I am looking forward to presenting badges and certificates to the members most recently admitted as Fellows of the Society.
One of the priorities I declared when I was sworn in as Governor last month was to acknowledge and support all Queenslanders and, in pursuit of that goal, I was delighted to continue the tradition of accepting vice-regal Patronage of the Royal Queensland Art Society.
As a community-based organisation, it has made an enormous contribution to the artistic life of this State since 1887 – a fact we are reminded of daily at Government House! Six stunning watercolours of the estate by Society member, Graham Smith, hang prominently in the administration building foyer.
The Society’s pivotal role in establishing the Queensland Art Gallery led to approval of the ‘Royal’ prefix by King George the Fifth, in1926, and that title has now been continued proudly, through three subsequent monarchs, for almost a hundred years.
Fellowship of such a Society is not awarded lightly, so I warmly congratulate the newly admitted Fellows on receiving this honour as well as the past Fellows whose works feature in this exhibition. You are all in distinguished company, joining artists of the calibre of Margaret Olley – one of the very first artists to be made a Fellow in 1992.
I also congratulate and thank the State Management Committee and the branches in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Rockhampton for their ongoing commitment to the Fellowships.
That commitment is important because one of the most important features of the Fellowships, from my perspective, is that artists are nominated not only because of the quality of their work but also because of the contribution they have made to the broader arts community and to the Society itself.
And because their names are put forward by members of the Society, nominations are also evidence of the respect and high regard in which they are held by their peers.
I thank you once again for the privilege and pleasure of joining you for this afternoon’s celebration and now declare officially open the 2021 Fellows’ Exhibition of the Royal Queensland Art Society.
I wish the Society and the exhibiting artists every success as the exhibition continues and for the future.
I now have the great honour of presenting to your Chair, this certificate of vice-regal Patronage. Thank you.