The Feilding and District Art Society (FADAS) is a non-profit incorporated society with the intention of operating an art centre/gallary in Feilding for the display and sale of members' work.
The Feilding Arts Club was started in the late 1960s as a way to encourage people to continue involvement in the arts, and held an annual exhibition of members' artworks in the Feilding Little Theatre until 2004. Some artists decided that they wanted to exhibit their artworks during the year, and eventually formed the Feilding Arts & Crafts Guild, which leased a small gallery upstairs in Turners Gift & Luggage shop.
Local artists were keen on establishing an Art Centre in Feilding, and in early 2003 a 50-strong deputation from the Feilding arts community, including the Arts Club, the Guild , the Endeavour Trust, and the newly-formed Art Society, approached the Manawatu District Council, which supported the venture and enabled the former Rangitikei Club building on Manchester Street to be leased in July 2003. After many hours of work, much by volunteers, the Art Centre opened on Thursday October 23, 2003. In April 2005 the Art Society held the first annual Art Awards, attracting entries from the greater Manawatu area. The final Feilding Arts Club exhibition was held in July 2005, in the Art Centre, and the Arts Club dissolved that year, its members joining the rapidly-growing Art Society. The Art Society decided to hold an annual Members' Exhibition based on the Arts Club exhibitions, starting in 2006.
The Art Society encourages artists to exhibit their artworks, which must be for sale, in the Art Centre, and has paintings, photography, porcelain art, jewellery, woodcrafts, fibre arts, greeting cards, pottery etc on display. Local schools are encouraged to visit, and to display students' artworks. Kimbolton School has held exhibitions in the Art Centre, and the FAHS Wearable Arts creations are displayed each year. Successful visits have been made by Waituna West, Mt Biggs, North Street, Feilding Intermediate school classes, and their work displayed. Artworks from the White Ribbon Day art competition have also been displayed.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, "Have-a-go" mornings are held, following on from sessions held by the Guild in Turners Gallery. Several artists attend each morning, enjoying the company of others, and the assistance of Claire Elwin when needed. Other classes and workshops have been held in the Art Centre since its establishment.
The Art Society has held exhibitions in the Palmerston North Plaza, at the Manfeild Garden Festival, at Settlers Day in Feilding, and in 2008 held the Art Expo at the Convention Centre in Palmerston North, an event which was held again in July 2009 and 2010 as the Manawatu Art Sale. Fundraising activities such as the highly successful Art Extravaganza held in the Feilding Civic Centre in June 2008 are also arranged. The Art Centre is managed and staffed solely by volunteers, mostly Art Society members.