The call for new blood in the Hunter’s art circles has been backed by art stalwart Margaret Sivyer.
The founding director of Maitland Art Gallery said there was a decline in the number of young people taking part in art prizes across the region and something needed to be done to rectify the situation.
“They may need encouragement, they might think they’re not good enough at it, but they are,” she said.
The comments came after Dungog Arts Society president Don Whitten revealed the society would become extinct if it did not attract new members.
He said it was hard to attract young people to the society and he wanted to attract people from across the region.
Mrs Sivyer suggested experienced artists could hold workshops for young people at primary and high schools to spark the students’ interest.
“If they want to get some sort of gauge on the calibre of their work they could go and have a look at what other artists are doing,” she said.
Many Maitland Region Society of Artists’ members are also involved in the Dungog Arts Society to help boost its numbers.
Mr Whitten said new members did not need any painting experience and existing members were willing to help them learn a variety of techniques.
He said workshops with professional painters throughout the year would also assist them to learn new tricks. "We've got to get a new generation of painters coming in, we need that, and if we don't get it the art society won't be around in the future," Mr Whitten said.
"That's my main goal as president.
"This role is allowing me to bring out some of my hidden thoughts and show how I think we can make the society even better."
Mr Whitten will shake-up the gallery space in Dungog's Dowling Street to improve its appeal. He wants to separate the workshop area from the gallery so viewers can take in the works without dodging artists in their path, who are usually consumed in their next masterpiece. The new layout will also feature a picture of each artist and details about their background.
"Some of the paintings that are on the wall now will stay, and we'll bring in some new ones," Mr Whitten said.