Bowral Art Gallery president bids adieu

Maureen Varnavsky leads the BDAS Choir, which sang a range of Christmas carols at the gallery's end of year Christmas party. Photo: Supplied.
Maureen Varnavsky leads the BDAS Choir, which sang a range of Christmas carols at the gallery's end of year Christmas party. Photo: Supplied.

After four years at the helm, the president of the Bowral and District Art Society (BDAS) has stepped down. 

Maureen Varnavsky was farewelled at the Bowral Art Gallery’s end of year Christmas function on Saturday, December 9. 

BDAS’ Lynne Moriarty said the event was a great success.

“Fun and good cheer were the order of the evening,” Ms Moriarty said.  

“It started with drinks in the sculpture garden followed by the BDAS Choir giving a superb rendition of many Christmas carols,” she said. 

“Supper was served with members colouring in random pieces of a collage, this artwork was displayed towards the end of the evening, proving to be a very Australian Christmas scene.”

Ms Varnavsky was lauded as a “very outgoing” president, who led the choir at the end of year event. 

FAREWELL: Nicky Holiday-Smith toasts the former president of BDAS Maureen Varnavsky, who is retiring after four years at the helm. Photo: Supplied.

FAREWELL: Nicky Holiday-Smith toasts the former president of BDAS Maureen Varnavsky, who is retiring after four years at the helm. Photo: Supplied.

“She was in fine voice, choosing to serenade the assembled diners with some Gilbert and Sullivan to great applause,” Ms Moriarty said.   

As well as being an artist in her own right, Ms Varnavsky is also an interior designer, a businesswoman and a “sometime songstress”.

She has been involved in many community organisations during her 40-year stay in the Southern Highlands.

In addition to leading the BDAS for the past four years, Maureen has been actively involved with the Chamber of Commerce and the Bong Bong Picnic races, where she emceed the Fashions on the Field event earlier this year. 

Guests are serenaded by the choir. Photo: Supplied.

Guests are serenaded by the choir. Photo: Supplied.

Ms Varnavsky plans to move north to the Gold Coast to be closer to her family. 

However, the outgoing president has vowed to remain an active member of the art society. 

She has promised to help oversee the upcoming building program, which is planned for the next few years as more money becomes available. 

“[The changes] will cement the place of BDAS’s Bowral Art Gallery as a truly innovative and creative entity of the Southern Highlands,” Ms Moriarty said. 

“Maureen’s talents, skills and friendship will be missed by many here.

“But somehow it is suspected that the Gold Coast is in for a revitalisation.”

Maureen Varnavksy will return to the Highlands for the Bowral and District Art Society’s annual general meeting in February next year. 

Until then, she will enjoy a warmer northern climate in Queensland. 

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