Natalie Engdahl Death, Obituary – The news that Natalie Engdahl, a former Studio Artist and Chair of NAS, has passed away is met with a great feeling of loss on our part. We are sorry to have to share this news with you. For those who were not fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be a part of our creative community at the time that Natalie was actively involved in it, she was an artist who was regarded in high regard, a colleague who was held in high esteem, and a close friend to a large number of people.
She was able to produce works from her workshop that delighted us with their artistic beauty and whimsical spirit. A seagull made of fabric scraps that were skillfully stitched together is one example. Other examples include cheeky budgerigars who appeared in paintings and on plaques, fungi made of felt, a colorful tribe of elves, and a seagull made of fabric scraps.
Nat was a tremendous assistance in finding new quarters for NAS after the sale of our building on Parry Street, which he was a part of. She has a lot of intelligence and is very generous with both her time and her energy. During the time that she served as Chair of the organization in 2015 and afterward in her job as project manager, Natalie was an unrelenting advocate for the NAS.
She participated in a large number of community gatherings centered on the rehabilitation of Newcastle and made efforts to lobby everybody and everyone she could think of, including members of the state and municipal governments, funders, and real estate brokers. As potential new places to live, she looked into the Wool Stores, the old BHP offices, the Newcastle Railway Station, and a great deal of other locations. She put in an incredible amount of effort to locate and investigate any potential clues.
With the help of State Member Tim Crakanthorp, she was finally successful in securing for us O Block on Chinchen Street. She did this with only a few months to spare before we would have been “out on the street.” After that, she did not let up and continued to exert pressure on the council to carry out all of the interior fit-out work that was essential in order to make our new facility appropriate for artists to move into.