MAFA President Gerry Halpin MBE talks about the MMU Graduate Awards
Gerry Halpin MBE with Verity Howard
Visiting MMU on behalf of MAFA last week and viewing a superb and richly varied range of final year student Art exhibitions, was an exceptionally rewarding opportunity to begin my duties as your new President.
The work, in all areas of study was of an exceptionally high standard and congratulations must deservedly go to the teaching staff and to the enthusiasm of the students involved. It was very difficult to choose winners of this years MAFA Student Awards but with able assistance from Malcolm Taylor, our new Vice President and Dean Bland our Web Site and Friends Co-ordinator, the challenge was enjoyable and absorbing. My thanks also go to MAFA Members and MMU lecturers, Tony Ratcliffe and John Hewitt for their planning and smooth organisation of this event.
After much discussion we made a final selection and the Awards were presented to all but two of the students, the one being in America whilst the other was receiving further award in London.
Painting, drawing, soft sculpture, print making and ceramics were representative of the range of art work selected and the students themselves ranged from young people to more mature students. Each was one so very enthusiastic about their art and also very impressed by their success in being selected by MAFA for their outstanding work. It was a delight to meet them individually and to hear of their ambitions for their future, each one being thrilled to have the opportunity of taking part in our exhibitions over the next three years.
Undoubtedly, this is one of MAFAs major involvements. Students and new members are key to enriching our future exhibitions and in maintaining the perception of our importance as a vibrant, forward looking and effective Art Academy in Manchester.
As the 24th President of MAFA, I am looking forward to enjoying the support of all our members through social interaction events, a wider range of exhibition opportunities and, however possible, in attempting to re-establish the once major event in our and Manchesters cultural calendar, the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts Annual Open Exhibition.
It is a great privilege to have been elected your President and for the next two years at least I hope, with the unfailing support of both Council and Trustees, in whom I have the greatest confidence, that MAFA will continue to flourish and be respected as a prestigious membership of very fine artists.
With Kindest regards to all.
Gerry Halpin MBE
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