The Village Notice Board



If  you’re  anything  like  me  and  sit  in admiration  of  anyone  that  can  put  down on  canvass  what  they  see  or  what  they imagine  then  the  Hagley  Art  Club  is  one  of the interviews that I’m really happy to bring you.

There  feels  to  be  more  art  programmes  on TV than anytime that I can remember.  Growing  up  watching  Tony  Hart  and ‘Hartbeat’ and ‘Take Hart’ inspired me to do better at art but alas ability never really met ambition.

It’s quite ironic that in a time that we can’t get  out  to  art  exhibitions  or  museums the  increase  in  art  programmes  and  the increase  in  audience  figures  has  grown.  I suppose it just demonstrates what we’ve taken  for  granted  and  upon  lockdown release  the  pent-up  interest  will  manifest  itself in more footfall through the doors.

I asked the current Chairperson of the Club, Sue Merrill, how it all started. “The Club started in 1989 and we celebrated our 25 years anniversary in 2014. The club itself was started by Alan Pritchard, which many residents will remember, with a small group of  keen  artists.  Since  then,  we  continue to  have  a  good  group  of  members  with  a  wide range of skills from professional, keen amateur and new starters. Although Covid has caused some disruption including the cancelation of the 2020 Art Exhibition our members  have  stayed  with  us  and  we’re planning  our  next  exhibition  around  the middle of November 2021

"In normal years we’ve been on visits and tours  and  one  I  particularly  remember was a club trip to Paris to celebrate our 10 years anniversary. This is my 2nd stint as Chairperson,  taking  my  total  time  in  the chair as 10 years” added Sue. “Our Art Exhibitions held in the Community Centre have been a great success and acts as an opportunity for members to exhibit their  work.  Members  don’t  need  to  be expert, competent artists, they only need to be enthusiastic. We’re seeing more younger members coming through which will help the club grow and continue to survive. The club is there so that people can work on their  particular  subject  matter  and  come together to exchange ideas and techniques.  Some artists do sell their work whilst others just do it for their own interest.”

How has technology and arts come together over the last year?  I asked. “We’ve continued to do ‘Zoom’ meetings like everyone else and managed this quite well enabling us to have some of our demonstrators from other parts of the country. Our demonstration talks are with   professional   and   semi-professional   speakers  which  has  increased  interest  in the club. We may even continue with the ‘Zoom’  demonstrations  during  the  winter months”  added  Sue.  Should  anyone  wish to know more about the club or join please contact Sue on 01562 700078

Interview by Steve Colella