Margaret Christie – Art Appreciation tutor

Continuing our series of those who volunteer their time and talents at U3A Noosa, meet Margaret Christie, whose association with Michell House goes back 17 years and who is best known as the much loved and admired tutor of the long-running Art Appreciation class.

WHEN Margaret Christie first introduced an Art Appreciation course at U3A Noosa in 2005 she managed to persuade just four rather dubious participants to attend.
 However, word soon spread about Margaret’s passionate enthusiasm for her subject and ability to inform and inspire her students. Before long there were nearly 50 permanent participants, a number of casual attendees and a long waiting list. Thirteen years on, until Margaret was forced to stop teaching earlier this year because of ill-health, two of the original group remained in the class, and hundreds of students had over the years become passionately interested – and knowledgeable – about art in all its forms.
In recognition of the wonderful contribution Margaret has made to U3A Noosa over so many years, the art room at Michell House was renamed the Margaret Christie Studio at a ceremony held recently, although sadly Margaret was not well enough to be there.
Her association with U3A Noosa began in 2001 after she retired from a long career as a secondary school art and art appreciation teacher, and later in special education.
She first joined an archaeology class, having had a lifelong interest in history, and a little later offered a class, Art for Pleasure, which later was renamed Art Appreciation. 
“I travelled a lot with my husband, Tony, and saw many great works of art. That helped me to teach art appreciation,” says Margaret, who names the early Renaissance as her favourite period in Western art and Botticelli her favourite artist.
“In my classes I aimed to give members an awareness beyond “it’s a pretty picture” or “I don’t like that”, to encourage criticism and discernment. I encouraged members to talk about art among themselves, which they did, and they set themselves homework.”
Of her many years at U3A Noosa Margaret says: “It offered me so much fulfilment during my retirement years. I made so many friends, have developed a wide circle of acquaintances and learned so much.”
To have the art studio named after her as a celebration of her contribution to U3A Noosa “is the most amazing honour,” says Margaret. “I cannot believe that people would be so kind.”
“It’s an honour that is so well deserved,” says U3A Noosa President Liz Gleghorn. “Margaret has given us so much and we are all indebted to her.”

It is with profound sadness that we have to inform that Margaret passed away peacefully Tuesday 17 October 2018 with Tony, her husband, at her side.


Posted in Our People.