They've dedicated years to the local art scene, and now seven creative ladies are being honoured for their hard work with a retrospective exhibition at the Inverell Art Gallery.
The Magnificent Seven features Roberta Buchan, Beryl Hamilton, Janet Makepeace, Beth McNeil, Von McNeil, Marjory Schmidt and Lesley Wynne. All have made significant contributions to the gallery over the years, with some key to its very existence.
Beryl was part of the Art Society from day one, in 1961.
"We worked hard. We were in one of the member’s garages and we needed to get somewhere of our own, and the council let us come and have the little annex there, in fact, to have our pottery," she said. The annex is now a tiny part of the gallery space, and still serves as a pottery room today.
Originally used for wool classing by the technical college, the Art Society asked to use Butler Hall to set up a local art gallery in 1972.
The society kept their eyes on the School of Arts next door, and finally in 1995, the two buildings were linked together.
"I’ve been with it while it grew," Beryl said. Although it was a struggle at times, she said the society was lucky to have some "wonderful people" to help them in the early days.
"At one stage we had the flying art school from Queensland," Marjory recalled. Texas Art Gallery is currently hosting their own retrospective in honour of the flying school's founder, Mervyn Moriarty.
Von has fond memories of the early days.
"We used to go out and paint in the field, and we loved that, things like that. We’d go sometimes out to the dam, sometimes out to Elsmore. We went away a couple of times," she said.
The women were delighted to be honoured for their efforts.
"It gives you something to work for," Beryl said.
"It is a very special exhibition. I think the name of it, The Magnificent Seven, is just perfect, because it sums these ladies up perfectly," gallery manager Jo Williams said.
"They were people with vision, which was wonderful, and we have them to thank for this great facility we’ve got today - those people with vision that could see what the place could become."
The Magnificent Seven exhibition opens at 11am on Saturday, February 16 at the Inverell Art Gallery on Evans Street. Entry is $5 and the exhibition will remain open until Friday, March 8.