PIRBRIGHT ART CLUB was 21 years old in Autumn 2020! 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 now four separate groups in the club, each meeting for drawing and painting sessions once a month. Members of all groups come together at our exhibitions, outdoor summer painting days and social events.
CLUB NEWS 2021
August 2021 - Maggie is pleased to announce that a series of Outdoor Painting Days will be published shortly for this Summer. These are mainly at private residences in the local area and all have 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. We also return to Sheets Heath Allotments after several years. Details published soon on our ACTIVITIES page.
The recommencement of 'live' sessions was scheduled for July 2021. Maggie Read sent the following message to all Pirbright Art Club Members "We are an 'educational' club (as I am a qualified tutor and set '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." NB. There are no meetings in August
Earlier in Spring - Maggie emailed all 4 groups 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.
Some members took part in the project to create a Pirbright Art Book, sending in their drawings or paintings of local Pirbright scenes. We are now awaiting the finished product, which is being put together by the local Church committee, whose idea it was to create a 'fund-raiser' book of pictures of Pirbright, submitted by local residents and some of our artists from the Club. The book will be published in time for the Pirbright Village Fair on September 4th.
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.
We are all looking forward to getting back to some normality and to seeing each other again at the Art Club meetings. Dates for the July meetings for all groups are set out in the document on our MEETINGS page. The 'theme' for the July meetings is the same for each of the four groups: The Sea - Waves and Surf.
Several Club Members exhibited at Denbies Wine Estate for the Village Artists Exhibition from Monday July 5th until Sunday July 18th. See Members News for more details, including when our artists will be present at Denbies.
Maggie Read and Janina Klein took part in this year's Surrey Artists Open Studios together. See our News page for further information.
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! The next issue will be published in August.
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.
Despite the exhibition now having officially finished, the Slide-show and Gallery will remain on our website for a while longer. If you are interested in purchasing any of the pictures, please contact Maggie Read who will then contact the artist concerned. Click here to move to our Exhibitions page.
During last year's 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 has running 'virtually' via WhatsApp during each period of lockdown, also re-opened for a short while in late September, at Lord Pirbright's Hall, until the hall had to close again in November! While they are 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:
Pirbright Art Club produces three newsletters each year, each suitably styled by its whimsical editor, Stephen Jones. The 2020 Autumn edition can be downloaded here.
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.
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.