A CLICKABLE 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