Berkhamsted Art Society encourages new members to join

‘Come along and join us’ says local art group

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 1:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 1:06 pm

Berkhamsted Art Society is inviting new members to join as its busy programme of talks, demos, workshops, life drawing – and an exhibition with a special focus for local schoolchildren - gets under way.

The art society's busy autumn and winter programme features a talk by a local artist favoured by Boris Johnson and a demonstration by a reknowned ceramicist and judge from TV’s Great Pottery Throw Down.

Mary Casserley, popular locally for her paintings in and around Berkhamsted and the Chilterns, joins Kate Malone MBE in the line up between now and the end of March.

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Summer drawing evenings

New members are invited to join the thriving and friendly local art group in what promises to be an enjoyable autumn and winter of art activities, starting with an informal coffee morning at the White Horse, London Road, Bourne End, on Friday, July 30, at 11am.

James Honour, Berkhamsted Art Society chairman, said: "The long hours spent at home over lockdown saw many people pick up a paintbrush for the first time, or spend more time painting and drawing, or return to art-based hobbies after a long break.

"So we’re saying ‘come along and join us’. Whatever your area of interest or ability, we can promise something for everyone.”

Mary Casserley, whose painting of Chequers was bought by the prime minister earlier this year, kicks off the society’s autumn/winter season as guest speaker when it meets for its AGM at the Court House in Church Lane, Berkhamsted, on Tuesday, September 14.

Berkhamsted Art Society holds regular exhibitions at the Civic Centre. The next one is in November.

Kate Malone is hosting a month later, when the pottery and glazing master talks on ‘Earth, Air, Fire, Water – Connecting Clay with the Elements’, on Tuesday, October 19, at 7pm. The talk is £6 for non-members.

Further autumn/winter events include:

> Live or Zoom demos by local Open Door artist George Walker (charcoal drawing, November 9); Peter Keegan (oil painting, January 18) and Hashim Akib (trees in acrylics, March 22)

> Life drawing workshops

> Regular life drawing evenings, either in the Court House or via Zoom

> Winter and spring exhibitions in the Civic Centre

> Regular coffee mornings at a local pub and a Raku Pottery Firing.

All Zoom talks and demos start at 7pm. Live presentations at the Court House start at 8pm. Entrance is free for members and £5 for visitors.

The programme follows on from the group’s summer drawing evenings where members have been gathering weekly to paint or sketch at local places of interest – weather permitting.

James added: “We are delighted that Mary – who is one of our star members – and my friend Kate are coming along to give us an insight into their work.

“All our members are enthusiastic and friendly, so we can guarantee a warm welcome for them and for visitors.”

Formed 90 years ago, the group has members of all ages and abilities, and from across Dacorum, who share an interest in painting, drawing, pottery, textiles, print-making and creating art.

The society has grown in numbers over recent months, despite the restrictions and difficulties of the pandemic and lockdown.

Regular coffee mornings and life drawing sessions via Zoom kept everyone in touch and involved – and inspired members to create so much ‘lockdown art’ that they put together a successful online exhibition and art sale in May and June.

James added: "The exhibition was great.

“We now have our focus on a real live exhibition in the Civic Centre on 26 and 27 November when we hope to get local schoolchildren involved too.

Sales and commissions were generated by the ‘virtual visitors’ – and some were so impressed that they became members and added work of their own to the gallery.

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