About ASOC Membership
Membership of ASOC is open to all people over 18 years of age. Annual Membership fees are currently $66 for full local membership or $44 for distant membership per year. Student membership (18 to 24 years) is $33 and Household membership is $103. Membership fees are due on 1 July each year. For new memberships please add a $5 administration fee to the above amounts.
Further details are available on our Membership Form
Information For New Members
ASOC is the oldest cultural organisation in Canberra, and was founded in 1927, the year the Albert Hall was being built. We currently have a very active History Project group researching our past with a view to publishing ASOC’s history. The ACT Heritage Library and National Library have comprehensive archives dating back to our founding year. On our website you will find brief notes in “About ASOC” which provide some details of our past.
ASOC has been leasing a large studio in the new M16 Artspace visual arts precinct in Griffith since August 2010 when this became our new home. As a member of M16, ASOC is part of a vibrant arts community which has a large public gallery, 28 individual studios, and workspaces for three other arts organisations (CAW, Hands on, and Studio MAP). Our studio has excellent natural lighting, air conditioning, and a sink. We have a refrigerator, water cooler, microwave and hot water urn as well as quality easels, tables and seating for 60 people. A sound system and video projector; and high quality printing press are available for members’ use. Pinboards on the wall allow members’ work to be displayed. Our studio is quite heavily used but is only open during advertised activities.
Monthly Member Meetings
In most months of the year there are members meetings held at our studio in Griffith. Meetings normally start at 2.30pm on the last Sunday of the month unless otherwise notified. We commence meetings providing information about ASOC events, and members are invited to share other information about current arts activities. Many meetings feature a demonstration by an artist or we have special guests to speak about their art activities. We encourage members to share their artworks with others at some of our meetings. Our extensive library of books and dvds opens for members to take out loans. Refreshments are provided as part of the $2 meeting entry and issues are discussed and votes taken. You are always very welcome to attend these meetings: just turn up! Meetings are a good way of getting to know other members and learning what makes ASOC tick.
ASOC offers twelve untutored workgroups which operate through the week from Monday to Saturday and on some evenings to cater for those members still in the workforce. These workgroups provide a friendly environment in which members learn from one another, and may be organised by a member who has volunteered to be the convenor.
Current workgroups include Mondays: Pastel Explorers; Experimental Expression; Tuesdays: Portrait and Life Drawing; Fun with Printmaking; Wednesdays: Ways with Watercolour; Drawing Creatively; Wednesday Evening Drawing Together; Thursdays All comers; Flora and Fauna; Thursday evenings: Night Owls; Fridays ASOC Contemporary; Saturdays: Saturday Sessions. Some workgroups include sessions of plein air painting, while others organise visits to galleries and public exhibitions to sell their work.
Workgroup members make a small contribution towards the rent of the studio (currently $4 per week per session), but those in the portrait and life drawing and printmaking groups pay extra to cover additional costs. The workgroups are detailed on our website and a list is provided in each newsletter. Contact details of the convenors make it possible for you to contact them about possible vacancies and other information. You can register by contacting the relevant convenor.
During the year ASOC partners with Canberra Art Workshop to organise a low fee workshop program tutored by local or interstate artists, and these are held in the ASOC and CAW M16 studios. The workshops are usually run at weekends to make them accessible to all, and vary in length. We aim to cater to a whole range of different media, and take into account the range of members’ abilities in the visual arts. Workshops are advertised well in advance in our newsletter and on our website.
Summer Art Experience
The ASOC Summer Art Experience (SAE) is one of our major events and has run each year since 2001. The SAE attracts leading artist/tutors and students from the ACT and many from interstate. Up to 120 participants gather for a period of five days of focused instruction and learning in pleasant surrounds. A strong community spirit develops during this time, and typically students make big strides in their artistic development.
ASOC holds two exhibitions each year. An open competition and exhibition in April and an annual members’ competition and exhibition in Spring. The April exhibition focusses on the volunteer work of the ACT Catchment Groups and is sponsored by ICON Water. The Spring Exhibition is an opportunity for members to showcase what they have learned throughout the year and is usually held in the Albert Hall to coincide with Floriade.
Some ASOC workgroups have organised their own public exhibitions, and that is a very noteworthy development. We are now a partner with Cranleigh School (a school for children with special needs) and support their annual art show in October. You are of course strongly encouraged to exhibit your work in our shows.
From time to time ASOC arranges group visits to galleries, paint outs, social events and painting bus trips. ASOC and CAW work together to organise an annual bus trip to the Art Gallery of NSW and the National Trust S.H. Ervin Gallery to view entries in the Archibald Prize. Such activities will be advertised well ahead of time.
The ASOC newsletter is published every two months. It is our main means of communicating with members, and you can choose to receive it in the mail or download it from our website. Half our members do the latter, and that results in savings in printing and postage costs. The online version is in colour, and members can also access previous issues from our website.
The email Update is sent to all members who provide their email address. As a result 90% of our members receive this fortnightly digest of ASOC events, changes to activities and news of very recent ASOC developments. The Updates also provide information about other arts events of interest to members. The Update complements the newsletter by bridging the information between its bi-monthly issues.
ASOC Website is an attractive place to view photographic records of ASOC events. It also has details and links relevant to major events, such as the Summer Art Experience and our exhibitions. You will find information about contacting key members of our organisation and useful forms that you can download. You can also view the ASOC constitution and 5 year plan on our site. We suggest you visit the site quite frequently to keep up to date with your Society. You can also find us on Facebook and check out our posts on Instagram.
Discounts to Members
Some art materials and framing stores, including Eckersley’s, Framing Pieces Mitchell, Discount Framers Belconnen offer discounts to ASOC members. You should always attempt to receive discounts by showing your ASOC membership card, even if you are interstate.
Committees and Volunteering
The ASOC Management Committee (MC) which includes the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Public Office plus elected members is the central organising committee. Occasionally special purpose subcommittees are set up responsible to the MC, for example to organise major events such as the Spring Exhibition and the Summer Art Experience. There are numerous opportunities for members to join such committees and take on other roles to ensure the vibrancy of our Society.
ASOC postal address:
Artists Society of Canberra
PO Box 3629 Manuka Post Offic
Manuka ACT 2603
ASOC studio address:
Studio D, M16 ArtSpace
21 Blaxland Cres
Griffith ACT 2603
ASOC website address: