Nelson Suter Art Society

to promote and encourage the cultivation and production of work in the visual arts


NSAS Committee

Patron: Gabrielle Coote

President: Pieter Swanepoel

Vice President: AD HOC

Secretary: Kate Coote

Tresurer: Ian Bowell

Exhibitions Hanging Team: 

Nick Duncan,

Rahel Brodi-Sharrock

McKee Exhibition Officer: 

Simon Hall

Membership Coordinator:

Akky Leurink

Facebook Coordinator: 

Kirsten Baldwin

Public Relations:

Jane Campion

Newsletter Coordinator: 

Clare Williams

Social Coordinator:

Akky Leurink

General Committee:

Audrey Anderson, Angela

Herbert, Pru Wilson

2024 On-Call Volunteers:
Paul Deacon  (hanging)

Ex Officio:

Julie Catchpole (Suter Director)

Barry Driver (website updates)

NSAS Exhibitions

Two major exhibitions are held every year, using the McKee and Potton Family Galleries.

Usually two and a half weeks in October / November.

Usually two and a half weeks at a time that includes Easter.

McKee Gallery
Has exhibitions throughout the year, each of two to three weeks duration. Some are open to all working artists of the Society, others are by individual members or small groups of members.


NSAS 100 year history book
$10 each - limited edition

Available in the Suter shop


Our founding father, Bishop Andrew Burn Suter was a man of tremendous energy and vision. He arrived in Nelson on September 26th 1867 and devoted himself to the needs of his large diocese and the community as a whole.  He was an avid art collector and enthusiastic artist.  His strong interest in art lead him to develop relationships with prominent artists at the time, among them painter John Gully.  On August 13th 1889, the Bishop founded the Bishopdale Sketching Club.  With fourteen members that met once a month to discuss and share drawings, the club became a base for the arts in the community.


In 1890 Bishop Suter’s health began deteriorating considerably, and his death in March 1895 was a shock to the whole Nelson community.  His passing became the perfect reason to establish a memorial.  In 1899 the Suter Art Gallery opened its doors.  Two years later, in 1901, an agreement between the Suter Gallery Trustees and the Sketching Club was signed and a close association began.  On May 21st 1901 in honor of its founder, the Sketching Club changed its name to Nelson Suter Art Society.  It was a time of great activity as relationships and exchanges with societies around New Zealand began to flourish.


Exhibitions until then had been displayed in the Suter Art Gallery, but as the Society grew, it was decided that it needed its own space within the gallery.  In October 1973 an extension to the Suter Art Gallery was completed, and the McKee Room became the new home of the Society.  The gallery underwent alterations in 1978 and in October 2016 the Suter Gallery was completely redeveloped and a new McKee Gallery for the Art Society was incorporated into the design.


Since the creation of the McKee Gallery and to maintain a close cooperation between the Suter Board and the NSAS, the NSAS president and the Suter Gallery Director act as reciprocal ex officio members of the Society and Trust Board.


Since its early years the Society has held two major exhibitions throughout the year, the Autumn and Spring Exhibitions.  These showcase a selection of the best work of its members.  It has become a tradition that during these exhibitions an established artist is invited to exhibit and share their experiences in a floor talk.  The NSAS has had the pleasure of hosting many great artists such as Mirek Smisek, Vivien Lynn, Elva Bett, Bill Sutton, Philip Clairmont, Ian Firth and many others.


Throughout the years many great artists have also been a part of the Society; Mina Arndt, Enga Washbourn, Toss Woollaston, Cedric Savage, Jane Evans, Elsa Kidson, Brian Strong and Sally Burton to name a few.  Since its inception the Nelson Suter Art Society has been a great influence in the region’s growth and recognition as an arts centre in New Zealand, and it will continue to support Nelson’s artistic community.

The Nelson Suter Art Society Logos








2017 -            Gabrielle Coote

2013 - 2017 - Margaret Major

2001 - 2012 - Austin Davies

1983 - 2000 - I J Major

1978 - 1983 - Mis B De Butts

1959 - 1978 - Miss G A Bisley

1950 - 1959 - E R Neale


2024 -            Pieter Swanepoel

2020 - 2024 - Philippa Eberlein

2017 - 2020 - Larisse Hall

2016 - 2017 - Nick Duncan

2015 - 2016 - Larisse Hall

August 2015- Chris Hogan

2013 - 2015 - Nick Duncan

2013 - 2013 - John Caldwell

2009 - 2013 - Philippa Askew

2008 - 2008 - John Rudge /

                      Philippa Askew

2007 - 2007 - Denis Turner

2005 - 2006 - Gabrielle Coote
2004 - 2004 - Deb Croft Picot

2000 - 2003 - Lynette Samuels

1996 - 1999 - Gabrielle Coote

1992 - 1995 - Philippa Askew

1990 - 1991 - Carol Crombie

1986 - 1989 - Philippa Askew

1982 - 1985 - D McKee

1981 - 1981 - M V White

1980 - 1980 - A Doogue

1977 - 1979 - Carol Crombie
1968 - 1976 - M A Botting

1966 - 1968 - N B Wilkes

1963 - 1966 - J S Barraud

1957 - 1963 - I j Major

1954 - 1957 - W R P Jaques

1947 - 1954 - G A Bisley

1941 - 1946 - W H Allen /

                      G A Bisley

1937 - 1941 - Prof J S Tennant

1932 - 1937 - Dr H E A Washbourn
1928 - 1932 - F V Knapp

1895 - 1927 - Bishop Mules

1889 - 1895 - Bishop Suter

Life Members

Hugh Scott
Prof J S Tennant
Lt Col Burton
Miss C Curran
Miss G A Bisley
Ernest Savage
R J Waghorn
Mrs M Steven
Mrs F Grabham
Mr & Mrs J Barraud
I Major
Miss C Dixon
Miss C A Sadd
H Cole
H T Atkinson
Lady B M Scott
Mrs G H Chapman
Mrs B Everett
Mrs D Gilbert
R Jaques
Miss B De Butts
M Botting
G Wells
Mrs B Wilkes
Philippa Askew
Alan Barnett
Gabrielle Coote
Carol Crombie
Ted (HE) Currie
Coila Duffy
Gillian Gaskell
Margaret Major
Pippa Philp
Marina White
Anne Willcox
Austin Davies
Jane Evans
Patrick Mechen
Margaret Rhodes
Phyllis Riley
Carl Anson
John Caldwell
Kitty Cachemaille

Nick Duncan

Kate Coote

Larisse Hall

Philippa Eberlein