Our Annual Gallery Weekend 2019: Bristol and so much more!

With the weather seemingly set fair for the whole weekend, some 35 members and friends boarded the Longmynd coach for our Annual Gallery Weekend, to be based this year in the very comfortable and centrally situated Mercure Holland House Hotel in Bristol.

Much of Friday was spent in Gloucester, exploring the restored area around The National Waterways Museum and the impressive cathedral with its stunning stained glass, traditional and more contemporary.

Bristol’s galleries, the city centre and the exciting waterfront, with its many attractions, fully occupied us on Saturday. Then on Sunday we travelled by coach to the medieval city of Wells. A road diversion took us by chance through some of the hidden gems of Somerset’s rural landscape. The Bishops Palace was waiting to welcome us in Wells with its splendid gardens and the opportunity to enjoy a guided tour of the Palace itself. For a good number of the group this visit concluded with Choral Evensong in the Cathedral.

On Monday, with perfect weather, starting out on our journey home, we spent the whole day in Bath, enjoying its museums and galleries and a rich variety of other attractions, before arriving back in Shrewsbury as darkness fell.

Thanks to Longmynd Travel for yet again handling our travel arrangements, with a special thank you to Richard, our driver, for his efficient, courteous and always helpful service. Thanks to Anne Linton and Jennifer Wallace for providing a splendid photographic record of this very enjoyable weekend. Especially though, we want to thank Alan Townsend, our wonderful trip organiser… Alan, please can we do it all again soon?!

Birmingham in January, a success!

On Saturday 19th January around 35 of us visited Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and The Barber Institute of Fine Arts to view temporary exhibitions which had been well reviewed as well as the permanent collections. ‘Women Power Protest’ marked 100 years since the first women were given the vote in this country, showing a selection of artwork by women from the Arts Council’s collection as well as BMAG’s own.

‘Maman: Vuillard and Madame Vuillard’ at the Barber marked 150 years since that artist’s birth, bringing together paintings, prints, sketchbooks and photos which gave a unique insight into this artist.

Planning a galleries trip for January felt a bit like tempting fate, but we were lucky with the weather, everything ran more smoothly than we dared hope for, and some of the wonderful things we saw should give us inspiration for the coming months. A big thank you to Jennifer and Jillian Wallace for organising the trip, and to Mike White, Jennifer Wallace and Anne Linton for the photo record!

Collage (1 of 2) of SAS Gallery Day Trip to Birmingham 2019
Collage (2 of 2) of SAS Gallery Day Trip to Birmingham 2019

It’s official! The search is over! (and other AGM news)

Report by Frank Hilton, our Hon. Secretary

Congratulations to Barry Lowe, our new Chair, who was unanimously elected on Thursday evening at the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Society. Barry is looking forward to help steer the Society to a bright future whilst acknowledging the very large boots he has to fill in succeeding Wilf Langford. Barry will be supported by Phil Hadley who was also elected to the new position of Vice Chair.

Wilf was re-elected as our President for a further year, and Pam Rhodes, Alan Townsend, Anne Linton and Suki White were all re-elected, again unanimously, for a further three years as Honorary Membership Secretary, Honorary Travel and Workshops Secretary, Publicity and Print Workshop Convenor respectively. Congratulations all!

We are also delighted that Jennifer Wallace, Jillian Wallace, Karen Lowe, Judi Willerton and Julie Lloyd Roberts stood for election to the Committee and were all elected for a three year term as well. Once again, congratulations to our new Committee Members and a big thank you for responding to the call.

In addition to the traditional AGM fare of an annual report on the Society’s activities by our team of organisers, we received the Statement of Accounts and the Treasurer’s Report. Whilst the Society’s finances are very sound, this last year has seen an increase in administration costs, storage charges for our exhibition boards and increased hire charges at all our venues. This year our expenditure outpaced our income and the Committee therefore recommended to the Annual General Meeting that the annual subscription for 2019 be raised from £5 to £10 in order to consolidate our financial position. This increase was agreed and whilst regrettable, we hope that all members will agree that this is incredible value for money for all the activities on offer. We will also be increasing the one-off joining fee to £10 for new members.

Look out for the annual subscription renewal letter in early December!

And that concluded the formal business of the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Shropshire Art Society.

Our radio stars! Wilf and Alan talk SAS on BBC Radio Shropshire

Collage of Alan and Wilf and the Seven O'Clock Show, Radio Shropshire
Wilf Langford (President) and Alan Townsend joined BBC Radio Shropshire’s Seven O’clock Show and talked all things Shropshire Art Society on 2nd November 2018

We were delighted to be invited by BBC Radio Shropshire to join the Seven O’Clock Show on Friday 2nd November 2018 to talk about the Shropshire Art Society! The programme (that focuses on arts and culture) found our website and wanted to know more. Wilf (our President) and Alan (our organiser of classes, workshops and trips over many years) chatted with the interested and most genial host Mark Elliott about the history and development of the Society, giving an informative and relaxed insight into the nature of the Society and its activities, with a good few laughs along the way.

Well done our team! And a big thank you to Radio Shropshire and to Mark Elliott for inviting us.

Our Inspirational Gallery Day Trip to Manchester, 2018

Our latest Gallery Day Trip by coach was to Manchester on Saturday 20th October. Thank you to Jennifer and Jillian Wallace for their hard work in organising the trip for us. Here’s a short report from them, and some pictures, to give you a flavour of the day, thanks to Jennifer, Anne Linton, Michael White and Liz Carr. Enjoy!

Manchester’s two art galleries – The Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery – are very different, so splitting our day between the two almost gave us some of everything possible in the visual arts. We aim to cater to a wide range of tastes and interests and this gave us top quality exhibitions of contemporary, modern and 19th century fine art, 18th century prints, textiles old and new, ceramics, glass, wallpapers like none you’d ever seen before, Nordic furniture… and not forgetting the sculpture in the park looking wonderful in all that sunshine.

Plans are in the pipeline for a day in Birmingham’s galleries in the New Year.