President, Annie Stark (left)

The newly elected members of the Marlborough Arts Society committee bring a wide variety of skills and experience to their roles.

President Annie Stark has had a long career in journalism, writing, and corporate communications. Between 1985 and 2009 Annie worked in Wellington as a writer/editor and communications advisor for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade Development Board, Telecom New Zealand, and Accident Compensation Corporation. Before moving to the capital from her home town of Christchurch, Annie managed her own business, specialising in editing and feature services, including a travel syndication service.

A new member of the Marlborough Arts Society, Annie left Wellington in 2016 to fulfil her dream of living a more creative life. After spending three months exploring Mediterranean countries with her artist daughter Alexandra, Annie moved to the Pelorus Sound in August last year. She has just finished building a chalet with art studio in the tranquil Wakaretu Bay, intending to devote more time to her lifelong interest in painting. Her other interests include recorder playing, reading, movies, gardening, walking, travel and acting.

Annie is looking forward to her unexpected role as President. “I am passionate about the value of community art,” she says. “We all need art in our lives, even if society as a whole doesn’t always understand that.”

“It’s quite a challenge for individuals to balance both the solitude we need in order to create and the connections we need with other artists in order to be inspired and encouraged and supported in our endeavours.”

“I am very impressed with the way the Marlborough Art Society is enhancing the lives of local artists through its exhibitions, workshops and classes. For this reason, I welcome the opportunity to volunteer my time and energy to this precious cause, and I look forward to working in the company of so many talented and competent people.”

Annie’s qualifications include Bachelor of Arts (Major English and Philosophy) and Diploma of Journalism from the University of Canterbury; and Graduate Diploma of Science in Psychology (Victoria University of Wellington).

Helen Ballinger