Friends of the Grafton Gallery (FoGG) came into being in May 1991 as a support group for the Grafton Regional Gallery and incorporated later that year with Public Officer Jim Maguire. FoGG was based on the many support groups for art galleries around NSW.
The first meeting of FoGG set out the parameters for their ensuing activities:
2. Raising awareness of the Gallery amongst the community
3. Pursuing initiatives relating to gallery exhibitions and events
4. Purchases for the gallery
These main aims have remained for the years FoGG has continued to support the Gallery
The first committee was formed and the office bearers were:
Chair /Secretary Geoff Crispin
Treasurer/ membership officer Eileen Challacombe
Publicity Officer/Arts Group liaison officer Margaret Burridge
Schools Liaison Eve Miller
Newsletter Francis Munro
In 1991 FoGG gave the Jacaranda Art Society $292 towards the cost of providing a judge for the JADA and has continued its support for Jada to the present day. In 2002 FoGG raised $10,000 towards JADA and became the major sponsor. This has increased to $20,000 provided to the gallery for the last JADA continuing FoGG’s major sponsorship.
FoGG has continued a varied program of events as fundraising vehicles. These have included, various types of music, jazz, classical individual performers and the once only legendary “Blues Night” where three local bands performed on a Sunday afternoon for approximately 400 young people who would not normally come to the Gallery. This raised an enormous amount of money for FoGG and the Gallery. Unfortunately such an event would not now be possible due to changing regulations and community values.
“Soup Day” was an idea borrowed from another Regional Gallery and began in 2000. This has continued continuously to the present day. It has become an institution each year with support from local Chefs providing the soups and many attendees looking forward to the experience each year during the Winter months.
Various other functions included market days and food themed days.
Purchases for the Gallery have covered a wide spectrum from Electronic devices, PA Systems, furniture for both inside and in the courtyard, tables and chairs, utilitarian ware for functions, amongst many others.
FoGG has provided funds for outright purchases for the permanent collection or contributed to funds to purchase art works of various types.
The committee has changed over the years FoGG has been in operation and several people have been contributors for long periods.
The various Presidents of those committees are listed below:
1991-1993 Geoff Crispin
1994 Peter Ingenillum
1995-1996 Jim Maguire
1997 Jim Alexander
1998 Geoff Crispin
1999 Val Woods
2000-2006 Peter McKenna
2007-2011 Geoff Crispin
2012- present Heather Brown