Worcester art groups - About Worcester Society of Artists
Who we are
We are a friendly Worcester art group whose members come from a wide variety of backgrounds, skills and experience. Our members work in a variety of media and genres. The group is long established and you can read about our history here.
Worcester Society of Artists aims:
How we do this
We run a programme of events throughout the year which include:
An example of one of our meetings is an evening when we brought in portraits we had done of either people or animals to show each other. It is interesting to see all the different styles and techniques our members use. Here is some of the art people shared:
Some history about Worcester Society of Artists
Originally named The Visual Arts Group the Society was founded in 1947 as part of the Society for the Advancement of Music and Arts (SAMA). In 1965 the group broke away from SAMA to form its own independent society under its own constitution under the name of Worcester Society of Artists.
Over the years the Society has had a number of ‘homes’ For many years the Society held its meetings at The Swan Theatre. In 2005 the Society moved to its present home at the Mission Hall in Bromwich Road where we hold meetings every Monday night.
The Society has held its Annual Exhibition at the City Art Gallery since 1947. As well as the Annual Exhibition the Society has exhibited at other venues including: The Swan Theatre, Worcester Cathedral, local libraries and the Riverside Market. The Society continues to exhibit around the city in venues such as: The Crowngate Shopping Centre, The Worcester Show and The Hive.
Worcester Society of Artists has always welcomed artists of all abilities: professional, semi professional and keen amateurs. Some of our past members include Peter Spicer, an impressionist oil painter and Ken Candlin, a watercolour landscape artist. Some of Peter Spicer’s paintings are in the Worcester City Art Gallery’s permanent collection. Worcester Society of Artists have annual awards in the names of Peter Spicer and Ken Candlin. The Peter Spicer Award is made by the City Art Gallery at the Annual Exhibition to the artist whose work is of exceptional quality, creative and imaginative. The Ken Candlin Award is a landscape competition held on a club night. Originally this was a watercolour competition but the Society has moved with the times so the competition has now been opened up to landscapes in all media to reflect the diversity of media used by our artists.
Worcester Society of Artists does not rest on its laurels. Today’s membership includes established artists such as: wildlife artist Valerie Briggs, railway artist Derek Mills, Colin Ross Jack, Lisa Bridge and Patrick Dunn to name but a few. Our artists are generous with their time, expertise and experience. As well as giving demonstrations and talks they are always willing to help and support less experienced members to develop their skills.
In recent times our biggest challenge has been the Covid pandemic which meant we could not hold meetings for almost 18 months. During this very difficult period the Committee wanted to support the members to help them get through the isolation caused by lockdowns. It was evident from the popularity of TV programmes such as Greyson Perry’s Art Club, Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year how vital art is for mental health. To help our members stay in touch with each other the first thing we did was to set up a Members FaceBook Group Page as a safe space for members to share their work as well as anything else that would be of interest to artists. The next thing we did was to hold ‘virtual’ weekly meetings on Zoom. After a shaky start we soon mastered the technology which enabled us to participate in a range of activities including: live drawing, sharing recent work, presentations on artists and art movements and favourite album covers. We finally returned to meetings in September 2021 and are now looking forward to an exciting programme of events for 2022/23.
Although Worcester Society of Artists has a proud history we also look to our future. We launched a new, modern website in August 2021 as well as a public FaceBook page to publicise our events and promote the work of our artists. We have our heritage and we have our future vision. We will always strive to improve but at our heart we will always be an inclusive society that aims to support and encourage artists of all skills and abilities.