Blackpool Groups: Blackpool Art Society

Blackpool Arts Society
Blackpool Art Society

Blackpool Art Society are open daily, delivering an interesting and enjoyable programme to all their members and guests.  The Wilkinson Avenue studio is a haven for artists no matter what their age or ability.  Anyone is welcome to join them for the opportunity to get involved in small supervised art classes.  A range of media forms are available including oils, acrylics, watercolour, pencil, charcoal, embroidery, sculpture and more.

Over two hundred members regularly take part in activities such as general painting, portrait painting, still-life drawing and card-making to name just a few.

Elaine Robinson, President at the Art Society said

I feel it is important that BAS not only helps experienced artists but reaches ­­­­­­­­­out to the local community who have always wanted to paint but don’t know where to start.

Events are organised by the committee which meets monthly to discuss society matters. There are a wide variety of activities throughout the year with a comprehensive workshop and tutorial programme in the winter.  Monthly coach trips also run in the summer to visit places of artistic interest.

The club night is very popular too, featuring visiting professional artists monthly who demonstrate different media and techniques and give informal appraisals of members work whilst enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. Regular coffee mornings also take place on the last Saturday of every month at 10:30am with a raffle, tombola and bring and buy sale.

Blackpool Art Society
Blackpool Art Society

BAS are also holding two exhibitions showcasing their members’ work.  The first will be held at The Solaris Centre, New South Promenade, from 3 May – 29 May 2013, 9am to 5pm daily. The next exhibition will be held at The Fylde Gallery, at EH Booth supermarket in Lytham during the end of July – 22 August 2013.

The society’s Annual General Meeting will be also be on 14 March 2013 at 7:30pm at the Wilkinson Avenue studio and ptential new members are welcome to join them.

BAS was formed 129 years ago and was originally named The Blackpool Sketching Club and is one of the oldest art societies in the country. Its first exhibition was at the YMCA rooms in Church Street, Blackpool.  The society’s title changed in 1905, 1939, 1948, and in 1978 was finally renamed Blackpool Art Society.

The Grundy brothers who gave the then new Grundy Art Gallery to the town of Blackpool in 1913 were members of the Art Society for many years and served on the management team and both served as President and Vice President.  The society was granted use of the Grundy for their exhibitions over the years. The membership grew, as did the activities of the society until in 1971 land was rented from Blackpool Council on Wilkinson Avenue.  A new studio was constructed and then opened in 25 March 1972 by the membership.

The studio was by 1978 proving too small and an extension was added which they use to this day.  Recently, the roof started to deteriorate and they needed to find funds to replace the roof covering.  One of their members approached the local councillors Alan Mathews and Eddie Collett provided the necessary funding to renew the roof.

Cllr Eddie Collett, ward Councillor for Tyldesley, said:

Councillors’ ward budgets are a good way of targeting specialist local projects or organisations and help local residents.  When we heard that the Art Society was facing serious financial problems replacing its roof we couldn’t ignore it.  So many residents in the local community rely on the organisation to learn new skills and socialise with others.  We’re happy to help the Art Society and hope that it will continue to provide a good service, as well as welcoming in new members.

The 1905 Blackpool Sketching Club and Craft Society philosophy that applies today said:  “The object of the society will be the furtherance of culture and encouragem­ent of fine art in all its branches and bringing together all who love art work and are interested in it.”

If you would like further information about the Art Society and its classes, the membership details or any future events then please visit their website. Alternatively, you can contact Rod or Elaine Robinson on (01253) 790692.

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