Inspirational Coventry, Autumn 2019

Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery and Cathedral are next door to each other, giving us more than enough to fill the autumn galleries day trip without going farther afield (unless you wanted to).

SAS collage of Autumn Gallery day trip to Coventry (1 of 2)

Like most city galleries, The Herbert has an art collection which is a reflection of purchases over many years which combine local interests with making a wide range of high quality art available to everyone. Their Peace and Reconciliation gallery, for example includes the painting by John Piper of the Cathedral in flames, his response to seeing the ruins the day after the bombing of the city and it’s no coincidence that the current exhibition, Coventry Biennial – The Twin, shows a range of contemporary international artists’ insights and responses to globalisation, looking in particular at cities Coventry is twinned with.

The Radical Drawing exhibition came out of Coventry’s history with Courtaulds, and their link with the London art gallery. It brings together Courtauld collection drawings and drawings from public collections of West Midlands galleries and was more than food for thought about drawing past and present – something of interest for all of us who make art, regardless of media and genre.

From the 1940 bombing of the old Coventry Cathedral, came a unique collaboration between architect and artists. Sir Basil Spence commissioned artists including Jacob Epsten, Elizabeth Frink, John Hutton, John Piper, and Graham Sutherland – commissions unequalled for the 1950s? Again, no coincidence that as part of the Coventry Biennial, in the Chapter House they were showing Bosnian artist Šejla Kamerić’s video installation, 1395 Days without Red, about 4 years of siege in another of Coventry’s twin cities, Sarajevo.

SAS collage of Autumn Gallery day trip to Coventry (2 of 2)

An unexpected extra was being in the cathedral when the rehearsal for the evening’s performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius was on – what a wonderful way to escape all the rain that we might all be remembering this autumn for?

Thank you to our trip organisers Jennifer and Jillian Wallace, and to Jennifer, Anne Linton and Karen Worrall for the photos that give a flavour of all that we saw.

Autumn winners, workshops & spreading the word

SAS collage of Autumn Exhibition 2019, Jason Edwards with his winning painting After the rain, Shrewsbury
Autumn Exhibition 2019, Jason Edwards is our winner! Pictured here at the Exhibition Social with Barry Lowe,our Chair, and Mike Griffiths who presented the Walker Harrison Prize

On Saturday 5th October members and guests assembled for our annual lunchtime Social at the Bear Steps Art Gallery to celebrate our Autumn Exhibition. A warm welcome was extended to all by our Chair, Barry Lowe. He welcomed Mike Griffiths, who had kindly acted as Adjudicator for the awarding of the annual Walker Harrison Prize, given for the picture in the exhibition which ‘best represents the Shropshire landscape’.

On this occasion we were pleased to see the prize go to Jason Edwards, a relatively new member of the Society, who had submitted a particularly stunning painting of a stretch of the river Severn immediately below the station bridge, After the rain, Shrewsbury. Mike congratulated Jason on the outstanding quality of his work and the Society on the excellent quality and range of the work submitted by members.

As the social was in full swing, so was our October Saturday Workshop. This season our Workshops and Classes are very well supported and attended. It’s exciting too, to see some fresh faces among our regulars.

October Saturday Workshop, responses to the work of the Salford artist, Harold Riley

Saturday Workshops, kindly organised for us by Lynne Morgan and Mick Krupa have got off to an excellent start. In the latest of these we were considering and responding to the distinctive work of the Salford artist, Harold Riley.

Thanks go to Anne Linton and Jennifer Wallace for accompanying us with their cameras (images above). Many thanks also to John Willetts, our Exhibitions Secretary, and his team for for their fine and hard work organising our Autumn Exhibition. It’s on until Saturday 12th October at 2.30pm. Come and visit!

Stop press!!!

On the evening of Thursday 10th October, Wilf Langford and Alan Townsend will be appearing on BBC Radio Shropshire at 8pm in Mark Elliott’s Seven O’Clock Show. They will be interviewed about our Autumn Exhibition and the Society’s activities in general. We are grateful to Mark and to Radio Shropshire for giving us occasional opportunities to promote the Society. Listen in!

2019-2020 Workshops and Classes off to a great start

Collage of SAS 2019-2020 Workshops and Classes
Our workshops and classes 2019-2020 are off to a great start!

We are pleased to report that we have enjoyed a lively and well attended start to our programme of Workshops and Classes for the coming season, commencing with our first Saturday Workshop last weekend, organised by our committed and enthusiastic leaders, Lynne Morgan and Mick Krupa. Some 20 members considered the work of a group of artists characterised as “The Print Rebels” before responding in the medium of their choice.

Similarly, our programme of Wednesday Classes got off to an excellent start this week, at the English Bridge Workshop, with a sequence of classes led by Euryl Stevens. We are delighted to have her tutoring us again. It’s exciting that demand to attend these classes this year has been extremely high, with overflow waiting lists in some cases. We are looking forward to welcoming our other tutors Lynne Morgan, Pip Jones, Wilf Langford and Di Purser as the year progresses and in 2020.

The Printing Workshops will also be underway soon, later this month, kindly organised by Suki White.

Thank you to Alan Townsend for organising the programme overall, and to him and Liz Carr for the photos.

Summer Exhibition 2019 opened by The Mayor of Shrewsbury!

Collage of the SAS Summer Exhibition preview 2019
The winner of The Judy Townsend Memorial Prize, Kirsty Pankhurst (left). The Mayor and Mayoress of Shrewsbury with Wilf Langford (SAS President), Barry Lowe (SAS Chair), and the Townsend family (right).

We were delighted to welcome the Mayor of Shrewsbury Phil Gillam and the Lady Mayoress Carol Gillam to open the Summer Exhibition on Saturday 22nd June at St. Mary’s Church.

The Mayor in his opening speech mentioned that as a child he had received a Blue Peter badge for a painting which he submitted to the BBC pasted on a cereal box, but unfortunately he has done no painting since. Possibly a new recruit for the Society?

Alan and Jane Townsend presented the Judy Townsend Memorial Prize to the artist Kirsty Pankhurst for the Townsend family’s favourite painting in the exhibition, “Saturday evening”. Congratulations Kirsty!

And here is the winning painting…

Image of the winning painting, Judy Townsend Memorial Prize 2019 (Kirsty Pankhurst, Saturday Evening)
‘Saturday evening’ by Kirsty Pankhurst, winner of The Judy Townsend Memorial Prize 2019

The exhibition runs until Saturday 6th July (not Sunday) from 10am to 4pm each day. Closing at 2pm on Saturday 6th July.

We’d be delighted to see you! Come and vote for your favourite painting – we award a People’s Prize to the artist of the painting receiving the most votes from visitors over the duration of the Exhibition. We love to see which painting you all like best!

(A big thank you to our Exhibitions Secretary John Willetts and his team for all their hard work in putting together the Exhibition, and to all of our members for taking part. Photos, with thanks to Barry and Karen Lowe, and Jennifer Wallace.)

Wolverhampton and Worcester Art Galleries Trip: 8th June

Collage of SAS Gallery Day Trip to Wolverhampton and Worcester 2019
A flavour of our day, with thanks to Mike White for his great photo record

Setting off in a downpour for our summer galleries day trip made us glad we weren’t heading for the coast this year. Both cities’ galleries were new for most if not all of the group, and both were simply a treat.

Wolverhampton Art Gallery had 4 galleries plus their vast staircase given over to long-term displays from their own collections, but on top of that there were 5 temporary exhibitions, including two from The Ashmolean. From their website, we expected all this to be good, but expectations were exceeded all round. Then just to pack in a bit more, after lunch we went on in bright sunshine to Worcester Art Gallery, to see ‘The Young Turner’, and as much of their permanent collection as we could take in with limited time.

Voted an all-round successful trip! Thank you Jennifer and Jillian Wallace for all your hard work in organising the day.