PIRBRIGHT ART CLUB has now been running for over 22 years! Many of our founder members are still taking an active part in the club meetings, events and exhibitions. Created in 1999, by art tutor Maggie Read, as a way of continuing art sessions for her students during the long breaks between Adult Education terms, it has become a thriving and successful club. We have a reputation for excellence for the quality and presentation of the work on show at our annual exhibitions.
We attract a wide range of artists, from beginners to professionals, through Maggie's art classes, workshops and demonstrations; via our website and by word-of-mouth. There are two separate groups in the club, each meeting for drawing and painting sessions once a month. Members of both groups come together at our exhibitions, outdoor summer painting days and social events.
RAILINGS EXHIBITION - Saturday 30th July
Our summer outdoor Railings Exhibition was held on Saturday July 30th in conjunction with Pirbright Horticultural Show, at the Lord Pirbright's Hall. After two summers of lockdown it was a welcome return for this annual exhibition. The day was very successful with a large number of visitors and many sales of framed and unframed paintings as well as cards.
The pictures below show scenes from this year's Railings Exhibition. Further pictures can be found on our Exhibitions page.
Maggie Read is currently running her Summer 2022 Outdoor Painting Days - held in July and August. These can be seen by opening the PDF link here. All places are now full with waiting lists!
Visits have been made to Guildford Castle, the Rural Life Centre at Tilford and to Stoke Mill House (next to Stoke Mill). Photos from these visits are shown below,
Maggie critiquing the day at Stoke Mill House
Guildford Castle in all its glory
The Rural Centre at Tilford
Pirbright Art Club were invited to display members' work in a Pop-up Exhibition at St Michael & All Angels Church, Pirbright on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th June. The art display and sale coincided with the Pirbright Garden Walks.
Some members had work published in the Pirbright Art Book and this was on sale again at the church. A photo from the weekend is shown below (and further photos can be found under Exhibitions)
Members Pam Odonaghue and Colin Wood each sold two pictures at the Church exhibition and we were able to give £40 to the Church Fund (10% of sales).
Members Nina Klein and David Harmer are exhibiting at Denbies between 6th and 12th June. For more details, see Members News.
Member Colin Wood is exhibiting at The Lightbox, Woking, from May 10th to 22nd as part of the Wild Surrey Exhibition. For further details, see Members News.
Member David Drury recently completed a commission for the 16th Regiment Royal Artillaery and has delivered the completed painting, entitled Falkland Islands, to their Thorney Island base. For his story, including the finished painting, see our News section.
Annual Exhibition 2021
Our 21st Annual Exhibition at Lord Pirbright's Hall took place on Saturday 4th December. Our exhibition coincided with the official switching on of the Pirbright Christmas Lights, with musical entertainment and refreshments early on the Saturday evening.
Maggie Read commented on the exhibition, "What a great Annual Exhibition last Saturday! Many visitors and lots of sales; fabulous paintings and a lovely festive atmosphere! We had extended hours - till 7pm - as this year's event was one-day only. The early evening saw another influx of visitors when many local families turned out to watch the switch-on of the Christmas lights at Lord Pirbright's Hall. They came in to see the art, hear the "live" music from singer Lyra and DJ George - playing Christmas songs - and to enjoy a glass of mulled wine from the Cricketer's stall. A real success again this year!"
Below is a selection of photographs taken during the day and evening of the exhibition.
Pirbright Village Sea Fair, Saturday September 4th 2021
The theme for this year's Pirbright Village Fair was "All-at-Sea"! Pirbright Art Club had two gazebos on the village green with an impressive display of original paintings, folios, prints and cards for sale. Many of our pictures had a 'sea' theme. The Fair attracted a huge number of visitors and the Art Club's stall was very successful, with many sales. We also had an entry on display in the Church, featuring a life-size mermaid, created by Maggie Read, and surrounded by some of our members' work. The entry won the prize for Most Creative Interpretation of the Theme! The photo below shows Maggie standing beside her prize winning mermaid artist! More photos can be found on the Exhibitions page.
August 2021 - Maggie held a series of Outdoor Painting Days at private residences in the local area and all had stunning gardens. They include a house on a lake in Lightwater, a designer garden in Horsell and a stunning Tarrant-style house with wooded grounds and horses in adjoining fields. Details and further photos are published on our Activities page.
The recommencement of 'live' sessions was scheduled for July 2021. Maggie sent the following message to all Pirbright Art Club Members: "We are an 'educational' club (I am a qualified tutor and set the regular 'themes', demonstrate techniques and guide members with their work), so I have decided we can safely re-open for July and meet up again for some art sessions, before the club year officially ends in August."
Back in Spring this year Maggie had e-mailed all members to say: "I do hope we have managed to keep you engaged with the club over the past months (of lockdown). I know that some of you have enjoyed trying out the various 'themes' and many have viewed my demo videos, whether on YouTube or via links to my Google photo albums.
Several members took part in a project to create the "Pirbright in Art" book, which was being put together by the local Church committee as a 'fund-raiser' book featuring images of Pirbright, by local residents and art clubs. Members sent in their drawings or paintings of local Pirbright scenes, some of which had been produced on Maggie's Summer Outdoor Painting Days in previous years. We were delighted with the finished product, which was published just in time for the Pirbright Village Fair on September 4th. Many paintings by our members feature in the book, which we helped to sell on our stall. Copies are £10 each and can be ordered through the Church website.
Pirbright Church by Alison Clarke
Pirbright Pond by Frank Fuller
We had two Meet and Draw outdoor sessions in May and they were well attended by members, giving them a chance to catch up with friends after many months and do a bit of drawing too! See photos in our NEWS section.
Several Pirbright Art Club Members exhibited at Denbies Wine Estate as part of the Village Artists Exhibition - from Monday July 5th until Sunday July 18th. See Members News for more details and photos. The flyer below shows work by our Pirbright artists.
In June - Maggie Read and Janina Klein took part in this year's Surrey Artists Open Studios together. See our News page for more photos.
We produced a Spring 2021 Pirbright Art Club Newsletter - in the midst of the last Lockdown! Please click on the logo to see the PDF version.
This edition is dedicated to the various ways that some members used their time during the latest enforced isolation - when even the weather was been against us all, forcing us to stay indoors and get down to some of the things we don't usually find time for - a plus-side to the Covid restrictions perhaps? We hope you enjoy reading the Newsletter!
Our 2020 'Virtual' Annual Exhibition was displayed throughout December 2020 on the website. The exhibition was very successful with many of our artists participating and over a hundred paintings for sale. The online exhibition was well received and many people commented on how professional it looked. A significant number of artists sold paintings and we are glad we were able to show some of our members' latest work.
During the 2020 Lockdown, members continued to be actively involved with the club by following the monthly 'themes' from home. Maggie was available to advise or critique work via WhatsApp or by email. Members were encouraged to post their own work on our Facebook page. From May 2020, members could access YouTube videos specially created for their own group. These short films were mainly to give inspiration to members to keep going with their art. Maggie's finished demonstration pieces were sent to members as an attached jpg as well as appearing on the website later. Two of these final pieces are shown below and some appeared in the "Virtual" Annual Exhibition.
Maggie's Friday Morning Painting Class, which was running 'virtually' via WhatsApp during each period of lockdown, also re-opened 'live' in late September, at Lord Pirbright's Hall, until the hall had to close again in November! When they were unable to meet in person for weekly classes, members posted images of their latest work (following that week's theme) at various stages of completion, for Maggie's advice and comments. Some examples of Friday Class lockdown work on the themes of "Still-life, in the style of the "Scottish Colourists" and "Garden Shadows", are shown here (right and below). See further examples on Maggie's website: www.maggieread.co.uk
Pirbright Art Club produces three newsletters each year, each suitably styled by its whimsical editor, Stephen Jones.
A special 2020 lockdown edition of the Club's Newsletter was produced by Stephen for these extraordinary times. That edition can be downloaded here Member Carol Norris was impressed - she said: "What an excellent Newsletter and how very appropriate to title it Art in Adversity. I have to say it was a very enjoyable read and excellently produced by Stephen. Ironically the Renoir picture on page 9 is the very same picture that is hanging in our bedroom .... sadly not the original of course. Renoir has always been a favourite of mine and again it is very apt that it reminds us that dark times will pass eventually. The picture has now taken on a new meaning."
Maggie took part in Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year, as one of the Wildcard Artists, at the West Reservoir Centre in Hackney. This was the second heat filmed at this location. This heat was filmed on one of the hottest days in August 2020. The episode was televised in February 2021. For more photos, see News.
The Club visited the Lightbox, Woking in January, 2020 to see the latest exhibition, "Burning Bright : The Scottish Colourists". Click here to see details of this exhibition and other exhibitions at the Lightbox.
ANNUAL EXHIBITION 2019
The Club held a hugely successful 20th Annual Exhibition over the first weekend of December, in 2019. This included a one-off "Black Friday" sale of previously exhibited and unsold artwork.
The exhibition was formally opened on the Saturday morning by Steve Fidgett - chairman of Pirbright Parish Council and a regular visitor to our annual exhibitions.
Many pictures were sold from the main exhibition (see a selection below) and the 'Black Friday' sale, as well as printed cards, prints of current paintings and unframed folio pictures. The cafe and the raffles, held on both days, were, as usual, well received by all visitors.
20th ANNIVERSARY CHRISTMAS SOCIAL
Our 20th Anniversary Christmas Social, held at the Worplesdon Golf Club, in mid-December, 2019, was well attended by over 50 members and friends. The golf club did us proud with an excellent venue, superb food and first-class service. This was an occasion to remember!
During the event we were entertained by magician, Chris Scade, and then singer/ songwriter Dean Dyson, who serenaded us with his guitar during and after our meal - some of us even ended up dancing. Everyone agreed that the Social was a great way to end our 20th Anniversary year.