Keeping arts alive during a pandemic

WE closed our club year on March 31 and I prepared the President’s Report and Cathy Fleming the Treasurer’s Report in line with our constitution.

We have tried hard to keep the Club alive during lockdown.

In April 2021 we took some inspiration from the Society for all Artists, also from successful artists Maurice C Wilks, Wilfred Haughton, Gladys McCabe, Kenneth Webb, Bill Gatt, Neil Shawcross, who were all associated with our club in the past.

In April we produced our first fabulous online exhibition.

In May some of our artists had submitted work to the Leisure Painter and The Artist Magazine and we enjoyed all the fun of Grayson’s Art Club on TV and were inspired.

By the end of May we had another new exhibition ready with even more local artists joining in.

In June, July and August we relaxed or painted in the garden and kept up the memories over the past 70 years of the club on our Facebook and we sent a report to the Antrim Guardian which they published giving us a lot of encouragement.

September would normally start back our new term and some of the artists who exhibited their work with us then joined as members and were given a lot of exposure on our Facebook and website and were then able to join in all our community exhibitions.

In November we were so pleased to be asked by The Junction in Antrim to set up a pop up exhibition. This beautiful exhibition is still running in the old Tom Taylor unit opposite the car park with a selection of work on show and for sale. We also gave our member artists more exposure in our successful Online Exhibition.

In December we were pleased to receive a Christmas card from our Mayor Billy Webb wishing us well and we held another fantastic online Christmas Exhibition.

In January 2022 we continued to draw inspiration from the Society for all Artists and Grayson’s Art Club and other TV art programmes. We produced another online exhibition keeping us interested in our art and many of us were busy doing commissions for friends etc.

In March we had a fabulous write up in the Antrim Guardian announcing our 70th Anniversary Exhibition which would finally be shown in the local state of the art Oriel Gallery in Clotworthy and Antrim Castle Gardens. This exhibition is currently running until April 24. We have a super show of paintings by some of best of County Antrim Artists.

Mayor Billy Webb opened the event with an excellent speech.

Jackie Davis who is son in law of our founder member Bertie Reid gave a very interesting talk on the history of the Club. John Taggart local professional photographer did an excellent job in capturing the event which we can use for advertising in the next term.

Finally, we were delighted when local Antiques Dealer Edwin Mercer gave Antrim Art Club two beautiful watercolour paintings by our past President Elizabeth Holmes. They will go towards our fundraising for charity which will be for brain injury.

Thanks to everyone who helped the Club to promote art in the local community.

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