Dartmouth Art Society
Dartmouth Art Society - 25th Anniversary
Dartmouth Art Society recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. There had been an Art Society in Dartmouth before 1984 but it had closed due to a lack of volunteers to be on the committee. In 1984 three previous members advertised for interested parties and the club was reformed. Membership cost £4 and a cup of tea at the meetings was 15p. In 2009 basic membership is £15 (with additions for workshops and demonstrations) and a cup of tea with a biscuit is 20p - not too bad an increase for 25 years! We celebrated the anniversary with a lunch party attended by members and guests including Simon Drew- who was the first local artist to give a talk to the club in 1984- and Beryl Calder who as Mayor opened the first exhibition.
The club has met in various halls in Dartmouth but since 2005 has met on Thursday afternoons in the light, bright Townstall Community Hall. Our friendly members range from novices to semi-professionals all of whom work with many different media e.g. watercolours, oils, pastels, acrylics, so there is usually someone to offer help and advice when needed.
During the period from September to May when we meet indoors five or six demonstrations are arranged, these provide members with ideas and advice about different media and styles and are very enjoyable. This year we have had a demo in pastel portraits from Jennifer Johnson; watercolour flowers from Shirley Harrell and Sian Dudley: a master class from Paul Riley using everyday materials such as sponge and cling film to achieve different effects with watercolours and Linda Stevens demonstrated the use of Inktense, aquatone and graphtint pencils. These demonstrations often lead to a desire by members for a workshop on the topics they have seen ; so this year we have enjoyed full day workshops with Michael Sanders doing’Boats and Harbours’ and ‘Collage’ with Sally Fisher. Full day workshops are hard work but a great experience.
On the first Thursday of each month, for those who wish to take part there is the opportunity to do some figure drawing. On some occasions the model is one of the society members but more often it is a professional model ( or at least a members’ friend or neighbour) and on these latter occasions we often have some tuition.
We hold one major exhibition a year, last year for the first time this was held in the Flavel Church at the beginning of August. This was a very successful exhibition, the venue was ideal with easy access from the street into the light , attractive church. This year we are again in the Church from August 3rd to August 15th. We have also had a smaller exhibition last year and this in the National Trust property of Coleton Fishacre. These exhibitions give members the opportunity to show their work to the general public and to sell paintings and cards. Around Christmas we hold an exhibition of our work for our own members viewing and here we vote and make awards in various categories such as Abstract, Landscape, Portraits etc.This gives newcomers and those members who are less confident the opportunity to show their work amongst friends.
At the end of the year in May we have a critique by a local artist where we each submit one or two of our paintings to learn from an expert how we can improve our work. This is done in a light hearted way and is an enjoyable afternoon.
In the summer months we make the most of the fine weather to venture outside to paint and sketch in our lovely Devon countryside. We share transport and take a picnic lunch or better still find a local pub! During the more clement weather we also visit other artists’ exhibitions such as those who open their studios during the ‘Devon Open Studios’ week.In Spring this year we visited RHS Rosemoor by mini coach and enjoyed the gardens, lunch and an exhibition of landscape paintings.
We hope to see you at our exhibition in August (see advert in What’s On for further details). If you require further details about the Society please contact either Judy Illingworth (Chairman) 01803 832129 or Kay Morgan (Treasurer)01803 832829.
First Published July 2009 By The Dart