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71st Open Exhibition

27th April to 5th May 2024
Cowbridge Halls SG14 1PG

  • Weekdays 10 am to 8 pm
  • Saturdays 10 am to 8 pm
  • Sundays 10 am to 5 pm

Information from Ray Ward 07870 170709

Call for Entries

Hertford Art Society 71st Open Exhibition 2024

The 71st Open Exhibition will take place at Cowbridge Halls, Cowbridge, Hertford SG14 1PG and will run from Saturday 27th April to Sunday 5th May 2024. One of the most prestigious Open Exhibitions in the South East, it welcomes amateurs and professionals alike.

To enter, you will need to pay £5 on handing-in day to become an Associate Member (temporary member for the duration of the exhibition). You can then submit up to 6 pieces of work at £3 per entry. Works to be exhibited will be selected by a judging panel of four professional artists who are completely independent of the Society.

Handing-in day is Saturday, 20th April between 8.30 a.m. and 10 a.m. only.

So, whether you are a painter, a ceramicist, a sculptor, or perhaps you prefer pastel, graphite, printing, or mixed media, in fact, pretty well any artistic medium with the exception of photography, here is your chance to exhibit with the best.

For full information, please download the entry form, picture requirements and labels detailed below, read the terms and conditions carefully and bring along, on handing-in day, the completed Entry Form, Print Browser form if required (both printed on white paper), your entry fee and your finished work/s ready for hanging/displaying with swing tickets attached (printed on white card).

Unselected works will need to be collected from 3:00 to 4:30 on the afternoon of Saturday 20th April 2024.

The Exhibition closes at 5pm on Sunday 5th May 2024
- Collection of Sold Work, Bank Holiday Monday 6th May 10.00am to 12.00pm.
- Collection of Unsold Work, Bank Holiday Monday 6th May 11.00am to 1.00pm.

New HArts Fest 2024 at Hertford Castle

Saturday 13th April 2024

 

Members of Hertford Art Society set up a new branded gazebo on a glorious sunny afternoon on the main lawn at Hertford Castle, for the first annual HArts Fest organised by Hertford Council. This one-day free family event celebrated art and culture. Visitors were able to enjoy a series of art and craft stalls, arts and culture based activities.

Angela Roberts, Mike Lawrence and Ray Ward set up their easels to paint en plein air and created a great deal of interest from the visitors.

A very popular children’s workshop was organised by Members of the Art Society based on drawing or using collage to create images of their own faces. Their imaginative and varied artworks were hung on our gallery wall in the gazebo.

There was a lovely interaction amongst the various groups, vendors, and societies with connections being made in a relaxed and friendly setting. Visitors were encouraged to visit our forthcoming Open Exhibition which will take place later this month (27th April – 5th May) at Cowbridge Halls, Cowbridge, Hertford, SG14 1PG and to consider joining our Society. Greetings cards donated by members were sold during the afternoon. The event was very well attended and a great success. The weather certainly helped! The new gazebo hopefully sets up many more opportunities for Hertford Art Society to become a more regular presence in local activities.

 

Running from Saturday, April 13th to Saturday, April 20th, HArts Fest will promote art and cultural events, activities and exhibitions within Hertford and the local area.

Chair of Hertford Town Council’s development and leisure committee, Cllr Ann Woodward, said: “HArts Fest 2024 is set to be a fantastic celebration of art and culture in Hertford. We are lucky to have a wide range of organisations and businesses delivering cultural activities in the town, and Hertford Town Council will be working in partnership with them to ensure the HArts Fest delivers a programme that can be enjoyed by people of all ages this spring.”

The Hertford and Ware Flyer

26th March 2024 & 27th April 2024

We are delighted that The Hertford and War Flyer magazine has chosen to feature paintings by Members of Hertford Art Society on recent editions. “The Wine Lodge” an oil painting of Ware High Street by Mike Lawrence is on the cover of the 26th March 2024 edition and “Hertford Bridge”, a watercolour by Mchael Radley features on the 27th April magazine. A number of other paintings by Members of Hertford Art Society of local scenes – portrait format, especially with a seasonal theme - may feature in future issues.

Also included in the March edition of The Flyer is work by John Godden, a long-standing member of Hertford Art Society, and an advertisement for the Collage Workshop on 20th March 2024 at the Hertford Museum, led by Sally Hunter. The April issue features an article on the forthcoming Hertford Art Society 71st Open Exhibition which takes place from 27th April until 5th May at Cowbridge Halls. Cowbridge, Hertford SG14 1PG.

 

Creative Collage Workshop at Hertford Museum

22nd March 2024

There was a good turnout for Sally Hunter’s Creative Collage Workshop. Ten participants enjoyed exploring the challenges of making an image with torn or cut coloured paper from magazines. Fortunately they were allowed to stay a little longer than the allocated time, so that extra detail could be added to their masterpieces!

 

This was a new skill for many but the use of collage in art goes back to the early 20th Century with Picasso and Braque pasting pieces of “Found” materials into their artwork, followed by many other artists using collage in various ways - Matisse’s cut paper and Hockney’s photo collages, for example.

   

As can be seen from the photos, the resulting images show great originality. All works were taken home in a cardboard mount, ready for framing. Sally Hunter was warmly thanked for running such an enjoyable workshop.

Spring Celebration Still Life Workshop with Spring Flowers

19th March 2024

    

This was an untutored workshop. Members could choose to paint or draw in a medium of their choice. Some lovely spring flowers were contributed for this Workshop including hellebores in various subtle shades, hyacinths, daffodils, winter jasmine and a branch of magnolia flowers. The displays were mostly in vases, some clear and one with a bold flowery motif.

This was a very enjoyable workshop which resulted in some delicate, colourful studies in a variety of mediums.

   

  

  

Balance and Composition in Art Talk and Workshop with Jean Noble, Abstract Artist

27th February 2024

  

We were delighted to welcome Jean Noble, a local Abstract Artist, for an illustrated talk on balance and composition in Abstract Art followed by a workshop on creating an Abstract painting or drawing.

For full report, click here for more details.

Demonstration by Roger Dellar

A Street Scene in Oils
20th February 2024

  

Roger Dellar is a self-taught artist with a keen interest in people and their behaviour. He is fascinated by the way the play of light transforms a subject; either working in the studio or plein air. He is a member of The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, The Pastel Society, and The Royal Institute of Oil Painters and an active member of The Wapping Group. He is a regular visitor to the Hertford Art Society and his demonstrations are always popular and very well attended.

Roger paints on hardboard, primed with 3 coats of a dark white Gesso which appear lighter as he starts to paint in his initial dark tones.

   

He sets out his palette and mixes his colours on the palette before starting work on the picture. He puts out two whites – one to mix in with his colours, the other to use as a source of pure white. During the painting he would hold up a palette knife with an intended paint against what had already been applied to check he was getting the right contrasting colour.

Roger started by making a very rough drawing with a brush and a heavily diluted orange/brown paint, then picking out some of the darker tones in an ultramarine/brown mix. He looked for connections between different areas of the image that had common tones, dabbing, smudging and blobbing the paint on, and avoiding straight lines.

Rogert made the initial darker spaces larger than would ultimately appear so that he could subsequently cut into those areas with his lighter tones. He constantly searched for opportunities to break up areas of paint with complimentary colours.

  

His figures were very small and lightly defined but he was still able to distinguish between a person walking towards the viewer from someone walking away by the amount of light in the head/face area – someone walking towards the viewer will have a greater surface of light around their head. He did not attempt to put in all the detail (e.g. windows) present in the photograph he was painting from. But he did concentrate on introducing tonal variety into the mass of foliage in the photograph.

Towards the end of the painting he used a palette knife to scrape vertically the paint for added movement.

In less than 2 hours Roger produced a beautifully balanced, subtle painting, full of light and shade, and a limited range of lovely complimentary tones.

This was a very enjoyable and instructive demonstration. Roger was warmly thanked for outlining his approach to capturing the atmosphere of an outdoor scene with hints and tips as he worked from sketch to finished painting.

Figurative Painting Workshop with Liz Loxton

6th February 2024

   

Figurative Painting Workshop - from reference material to large painting - facilitated by Liz Loxton, a talented artist known for her expressive and abstract paintings. Liz works out of her studio in Hertford, creating large and small artworks in which she aims to convey the feelings experienced in the creative process.

For full report, click here for more details

Emotions in Clay Portraiture with Jo Pearl

23rd January 2024

A sculptor based in North London, Jo Pearl works in clay for its tactile plasticity, its ability to record expressionist mark making and its transformation when fired. Jo is fascinated with the six emotions Charles Darwin saw as fundamental to human evolution: happiness, sadness, fear, surprise, disgust and anger and showed a stop-frame animation of her work in clay which allows her to create an illusion of life and explore these emotions. She has exhibited collections of heads on this theme.

For full report, click here for more details.

Still Life with a difference

9th January 2024

   

This practical session was a last minute change from the programme and there were five still life setups around the hall but with a difference.

Members had only half an hour at each still life before moving on to the next setup. These were quick half hour sessions with no time to fiddle in the detail. It was suggested that a different approach should be used on each setup and that different mediums should be employed. The time allocated could be used for one piece of work or for numerous quick sketches from different angles.

For full report, click here for more details.

“Underwater World”

Workshop in watercolour with Bridget Tomkins
21st November 2023

   

On Tuesday 21/11/23 we hosted local artist Bridget Tompkins and enjoyed a bumper turnout at Cowbridge Hall! Bridget is a well-established local artist who specialises in both life drawing and watercolour painting, embracing a variety of subjects. She runs classes in the St. Albans area. Bridget is known for her trademark loose and energetic style, using bold washes of intense colour which are often splashed across the paper. These random effects then become an essential part of the composition. Bridget strongly believes in trying to capture the 'essence’ of the subject or scene rather than concentrating on exact detail. This method is used to convey freshness and light by leaving plenty of areas unpainted.

For full report, click here for more details.

Urban Architecture

Demonstration in watercolours by Alex Hillkurtz
14th November 2023

  

Alex Hillkurtz was born in England and grew up in California where he is a renowned storyboard artist for feature films, television, and commercials. He currently lives in Paris and enjoys discovering the hidden corners of the city. He uses the language of cinema to inform his images, moving beyond what one sees, and depicting what he wants others to see. He had brought along various sketchbooks and paintings to illustrate his style. Alex runs plein air workshops at beautiful locations in Europe and around the world and has recently published a book on his approach to painting architecture. For this demonstration he has chosen a photograph of a favourite corner in Paris which features a café with a bright red awning – one of his favourite motifs. The photo was taken at mid-morning with some dramatic shadows.

For full report, click here for more details.

Expanded weaving session

Experimenting with mixed media
Workshop with Elizabeth Murton
31st October 2023

   
Tutor's resources

Elizabeth Murton is an award winning multi-media textile artist. She works in a creative and dynamic way – researching, drawing, crafting materials, talking with project partners and engaging people through events. She has a studio in Digswell and offers tutorials in various techniques on the internet. Elizabeth opened the session with a very interesting introduction to her work and practice – one intriguing example involved a huge warp weighted loom set up with fibres anchored with stones (ancient technology = contemporary sculpture).

Many of Elizabeth’s projects involve unorthodox weaving techniques and materials but this workshop focussed on teaching the basics. Members had brought a variety of frames and materials (yarns, textiles, paper) and Elizabeth had brought along resources to get everyone started on a simple piece of weaving.

For full report, click here for more details.

Hertford Art Society 25th Members’ Show

Cowbridge Hall, Cowbridge, Hertford SG14 1PG
Friday 27th - Sunday 29th October 2023

  • “Brilliant Exhibition – as usual”
  • “Beautiful Work”
  • “Lovely artwork. Well done once again.”
  • “Excellent paintings”
  • “A pleasure to visit every time. Lovely”
  • ”Thank you for another interesting and enjoyable exhibition"
  • “Beautiful and inspiring exhibition, well done HAS”

These are just a few of the comments made by visitors during the course of this year’s Members’ Show in Cowbridge Hall, a light and airy venue which shows work at its best. All Members are invited to contribute to this Show and this year 56 artists exhibited 197 works. There were atmospheric landscapes, townscapes and seascapes; lots of boats; still life images (one of two fried eggs!), delicate flower paintings and bold leaf prints; engaging portraits and figures; abstracts, and a lovely variety of animals (including a sleepy Alsatian, a curious chimp, two portraits of fluffy tabby cats, mother and baby elephants, a herd of sheep and lots of foxes this year). Some works were colourful and bold, others subtle and elusive in a wide variety of mediums. There was 3D work in ceramic and a display of carved translucent alabaster shapes in the form of a calm Japanese garden.

A childrens’ quiz kept children (and their parents) engaged as they explored the hall for solutions. Vibrant greetings cards were also for sale.

Grateful thanks go to all the Members who worked hard to set up this 3 day show. It was a great success – over 160 votes were cast for the Visitors’ Choice prize. There was something for everyone and the opportunity to relax with coffee, tea and homemade cake while admiring the artwork was appreciated by many.

Prizewinners

Marie Goldsmith Award for a Member with a high standard of work who has served the Art Society well without formal recognition

  • Mardlebury Farm by Ted Walsby – Oil

Stephen Lowe Award for most intriguing work

  • Orange-blue Contrast Piece by Lucy Dale – Mixed Media

Visitors’ Choice Award

  • Old Wave Breaker by Michael Lawrence – Oil

Enid Fairhead Award for best work chosen by Members

  • Royal Gate, Green Park by Bill Dean - Watercolour

Mardlebury Farm by Ted Walsby – Oil
Mardlebury Farm by Ted Walsby – Oil

Orange-blue Contrast Piece by Lucy Dale – Mixed Media
Orange-blue Contrast Piece by Lucy Dale – Mixed Media

Old Wave Breaker by Michael Lawrence – Oil
Old Wave Breaker by Michael Lawrence – Oil

Royal Gate, Green Park by Bill Dean - Watercolour
Royal Gate, Green Park by Bill Dean - Watercolour

Painting the Mayor

Untutored Workshop
17th October 2023

Each Autumn we are delighted to welcome the Mayor of Hertford for a portrait workshop. This year’s Mayor is Councillor Vicky Smith and she was an excellent model for our painting workshop. Members often try to complete these portraits in their studios and are invited to display these at Hertford Castle at the later date.

The photos below show the work in progress, in various mediums. The Mayor was warmly thanked for coming along for this portrait evening.

   

For full report, click here for more details.

Atmospheric Yorkshire Scene

Workshop with Mike Rollins
10th October 2023

Mike Rollins is a professional award winning artist, demonstrator and tutor based in Hertfordshire. His style of painting is a mixture of traditional and expressive techniques and though he uses a variety of mediums, he often finds acrylic paint better suits his needs. He trained as a scenic designer and often thinks of his subjects as though they were stage sets, open to rearrangement for dramatic purposes.

For full report, click here for more details.

Mindfulness with Clay

Workshop with Sarah Core
3rd October 2023

   

Sarah is an award winning ceramic artist who focuses on the physical and mindful process of working with clay. She works in community settings and runs Mindfulness and Well-being, Relax & Recharge and Pottery Wheel Experiences classes from her studio in Elstree and online.

Sarah welcomes us and gives each of us a slab of clay (about 1kg). We are asked to split this into half, put this to one side and then form 4 pieces of clay from the balance, one the size of lemon and three the size of walnuts. We put all these aside in easy reach and the session begins with meditation. We sit tall with feet flat on the floor, breathing slowly in through the nose and out through the mouth, focusing on the breath initially and relaxing, eyes closed. A calm atmosphere allows us to then take our focus though the body, beginning at the feet and working slowly through the body with the breath until our focus is on the head. With eyes still closed we reach for the large piece of clay feeling and responding to the cool texture with each relaxing breath. We allow our fingers to explore the lumps and bumps and begin to model the clay slowly into an abstract form with enjoyable nooks and crannies, our fingers and minds deciding on the shape. Then we open our eyes. The range of work produced was amazing. This was a very relaxing start to the evening.

 

For full report, click here for more details.

Collage Workshop - Animals

Led by Sally Hunter
19th September 2023

 

   

This workshop was led by Sally Hunter, a Member who has developed her own style of collage using photographs of animals and pets as a starting point. Her work has energy and personality; she often tailors the image to suit the pet’s owner. One portrait had elements of buildings and structures hidden in the form of the charming dog whose owner was an architect. Sally also enjoys creating portraits of people and landscapes in collage.

Members were asked to bring a chosen image and Sally kindly supplied paper, gluesticks, pencils, scissors and a stack of magazines.

For full report, click here for more details.

Demonstration – Head in Clay - Cast of finished Head

By Ben Twiston-Davies

The material is Crystacal Lamina, to which Ben added a little bit of Jesmonite brand Terracotta pigment.

   

Demonstration – Head in Clay

By Ben Twiston-Davies
12th September 2023

Ben Twiston-Davies has been a figurative sculptor since 2000. He has been a Visit-ing Lecturer in sculpture and drawing at the University of Hertfordshire, since 2014. His statue of Ebenezer Howard, the founder of the Garden City movement, was in-stalled in the centre of Welwyn Garden City in April 2021 to celebrate the city’s cen-tenary. Ben has recently completed a statue of Agatha Christie for her hometown Wallingford, in Oxfordshire.

Ben has visited the Society previously to demonstrate his approach to sculpture, to critique Members’ work and as a 3D judge. He was warmly welcomed back.

For full report, click here for more details.

Hertford Art Society Summer Programme Weekend Away – Broadstairs, Kent

23rd – 25th June 2023

This year a small group met up in Broadstairs. The weather was stunning and we had perfect conditions for creating art en plein air. Highlights of the weekend included two very enjoyable sessions at The Chapel Bar & Bookshop, live music in the pub and bandstand, and a picnic on the beach. On our final day, we visited Turner Contemporary in Margate and had a dip with Anthony Gormley.

 
Left by Michael Radley. Right by Ray Ward.

Recent Summer Programmes have included a weekend trip and these have proved very popular. Broadstairs had a stunning beach and some very interesting architecture which gave plenty of opportunities for sketching and painting, as well as varied enjoyable social events. A “fabulous” weekend was the verdict.

 
Left by Sally Hunter. Right by Kate Tyrer.

Winter Programme 2023 - 2024

The Winter Programme 2023-2024 begins on Tuesday 5th September 2023.

These sessions are on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at Cowbridge Hall, Cowbridge, Hertford SG14 1PG. Approximately half the evenings in the Winter Programme are for Members to paint or draw with tutor-led workshops, from still life arrangements, or with a life model. The remaining evenings are taken up with talks, critiques of paintings brought along by Members or demonstrations from a professional artist. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the non-practical evenings (marked with an asterisk).

Saturday Life Workshops will recommence on 30th September 2023 and non-Members are welcome - see details on Life Workshops below. The Members’ Show will be held from Friday 27th to Sunday 29st October 2023.

Saturday Life Workshops

WHY LIFE DRAWING AND PAINTING? – Some may say it is old fashioned, but practising Life Drawing enhances observation and accuracy. Interpreting the shape of the human body trains the artist to see almost every curve line and subtle undulation found in nature. The satisfaction of producing an acceptable image can be quite intense. It does not happen immediately and demands a great deal of practice to achieve.

Hertford Art Society runs Life Workshops in Cowbridge Halls, Hertford, SG14 1PG on the last Saturday of 9 months during the year. The only exception is the October Session which is sometimes changed when it coincides with the Members’ Show. Although these are primarily run for Members we welcome enthusiastic visitors at £17.00 per session, this includes coffee, tea and biscuits, available all day. The sessions are untutored and last from 10.00am – 4.00pm with a break for lunch. We work in in all mediums including prep work for sculpture. Bring whatever medium and equipment you require with you. The photographs below illustrate the exciting variety of work produced by the artists.

There are many different approaches to life drawing which become very obvious during the sessions. We are a very enthusiastic group of artists and in a relaxed atmosphere we learn from each other different skills and methods of working, as well as experimenting with different mediums etc. We do not have a set programme of poses, but usually include short poses and longer poses for artists who wish to produce a more finished piece of work. So why not join us if you haven’t already?

Workshops take place on the last Saturday of the month (except for October) for nine months of the year. They do not take place in April, August and December due to the annual Open Exhibition and holiday periods.

Life Models Workshops within HAS Winter Programme for 2023 - 2024 - 10am - 4pm at Cowbridge Halls, Hertford, SG14 1PG

  • Saturday 30th September 2023
  • Saturday 21st October 2023
  • Saturday 25th November 2023
  • Saturday 27thJanuary 2024
  • Satuday 24th February 2024
  • Saturday 30th March 2024
  • Saturday 25th May 2024
  • Saturday 29th June 2024
  • Saturday 27th July 2024

If you are interested please contact [email protected] for further details.

Painting and drawing

In the West Garden of Hatfield House
20th June 2023

At the kind invitation of Lord and Lady Salisbury a limited number of Hertford Art Society Members had the opportunity to spend an evening in the West Gardens of Hatfield House as part our Summer Programme.

The spectacular house, steeped in over 400 years of history, has extensive gardens that offer 40 acres of tranquillity. Built by Robert Cecil, in the grounds where Queen Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood, Hatfield House is home to centuries of historical treasures collected by the Cecil family.

For full report, click here for more details.

Hertford Art Society 70th Open Exhibition

April 29th – May 6th 2023

This year’s Exhibition celebrated 70 years of such shows, at different locations around Hertford as the Society changed venues for meetings and Exhibitions. See Trevor Chamberlain’s article below for his recollections of Exhibitions past.

Each year the style of the Exhibition varies. The selection of work is made by a panel of practising artists who are completely independent of the Society. This year we were delighted to welcome Olivia Bishop, Jude O’Sullivan and Mike Todd as judges for both the 2D work and 3D items. The wide variety of work submitted each year and the range of expertise and opinion of the judges ensures that each show has a unique mix of artworks. 110 artists submitted 435 items for consideration this year. 316 2D works were selected for hanging and these, together with 20 sculptures and 3D items, provided visitors with a varied, colourful and stimulating Open Exhibition at Cowbridge Halls. The work of 104 artists in total was displayed. This included work by 57 Hertford Art Society Members. There were many new exhibitors this year and the Society thanks all the artists whose contributions combine to make our Exhibitions so exciting.

The exhibits included oils, acrylics and watercolours; etchings, lino and screen prints; digital images; pastel, pencil, charcoal and ink; collage and 3D works in a stunning variety of materials. There was something for everyone: townscapes and seascapes, atmospheric landscapes, abstracts, figures with stories to tell, still life images (lots of lemons, flowers and jugs), birds and various animals including some very dramatic zebras and elephants. This year’s show included a great many beautifully executed and very moving portraits. Some works were bold, others delicate, some rich in colour, others monochrome. Work to suit all tastes. Additional works were displayed at other venues in Hertford.

Open for 8 days the exhibition attracted many visitors from a wide area. Hundreds of visitors cast their votes for their favourite exhibit - the winner was Love by Helen Tansley.

This Exhibition, the 70th Annual Open, was very well received and thanks go to all the people who contributed their time and effort in making it such a success.

Prize winners

The exhibition takes place at Cowbridge Halls, Cowbridge, Hertford SG14 1PG and runs from Saturday 29th April to Saturday 6th May 2023 and these are the Prizewinners

  • The John Goss Prize Best in Show awarded to Jess Williams for ‘Man in Monochrome’
  • The Bill Dale Award Best Member awarded to Sally Hunter for ‘Villa Simiali’
  • The Brushes Award by A.S. Handover Ltd for best watercolour awarded to Valerie Gudge for ‘Lockdown 2020’
  • The Mayors Award Sponsored by The Arts Society East Herts for best 3D awarded to Keith Lawrence for ‘Dragon’s Keep’
  • The Lady Laming Award Best Abstract awarded to Anne Gascoigne for ‘Fallen Bird’


The John Goss Prize Best in Show
Sponsored by

awarded to Jess Williams for ‘Man in Monochrome’


The John Goss Prize Best in Show awarded to Jess Williams for ‘Man in Monochrome’


The Bill Dale Award Best Member
awarded to Sally Hunter for ‘Villa Simiali’


The Bill Dale Award Best Member awarded to Sally Hunter for ‘Villa Simiali’


The Brushes Award by A.S. Handover Ltd for best watercolour
awarded to Valerie Gudge for ‘Lockdown 2020’
St Cuthbert's Paper Mill
The winner also receives watercolour paper awarded by St Cuthbert's Paper Mill.


The Brushes Award by A.S. Handover Ltd for best watercolour awarded to Valerie Gudge for ‘Lockdown 2020’


The Mayors Award Sponsored by The Arts Society East Herts for best 3D
awarded to Keith Lawrence for ‘Dragon’s Keep’


The Mayors Award Sponsored by The Arts Society East Herts for best 3D awarded to Keith Lawrence for ‘Dragon’s Keep’


The Lady Laming Award Best Abstract
awarded to Anne Gascoigne for ‘Fallen Bird’


The Lady Laming Award Best Abstract awarded to Anne Gascoigne for ‘Fallen Bird’


Visitors’ Choice awarded to Helen Tansley for 'Love'

70th Annual Open Exhibition April-May 2023 - 51 images, click here to view.

For full report, click here for more details.

70th Open Exhibition

Reflections and recollections by Trevor Chamberlain

This year (2023) we are celebrating 70 years of activities since the Society was formed in 1953, and as I am the longest serving Member, I have been asked to recall and record some past artistic activities and events since inauguration.

I was not one of the twenty or so people involved with the newly formed Society as I was serving 2 years National Service, but I can recall visiting that first Exhibition and Sale at the Durrant Hall which was located by the weir in Old Cross, Hertford. The Exhibition was held in aid of the Lord Mayor of London’s Flood and Tempest Fund and 113 exhibits by Hertford Art Society Members together with invited works by notable established contemporary artists of the day including Henry Moore, Frank Brangwyn, Adrian Heath, Terry Frost, Wyndham Lewis, Ben Nicholson, Rodrigo Moynihan and Victor Pasmore resulting in a very successful show. At the time I remember thinking that I would like to become involved in such an impressive society, so in 1954 I submitted an Oil “Lago Di Como” which was included in the exhibits on show at the Corn Exchange that year.

It wasn’t until August 1955, when I was eventually discharged from the Army that I was able to become an active member of Hertford Art Society. By then the Society had become established with the Rt. Hon. Marquess of Salisbury as President and Henry Moore and Ashley Havinden as Vice-Presidents. The tradition of inviting celebrated painters and sculptors of the day continued for some years and included such artists as Sir Alfred Munnings, John Nash, Ronald Maddox and Mark Gertler (1902-1939). This Gertler oil was a large painting of a voluptuous nude but the owner did not have any title for inclusion in the 1963 catalogue. So prompted by myself and my wife, Elaine, the HAS Committee gave it the title of “Queen of Sheba”. The painting was then sold from our exhibition to the Tate Gallery for £250. It is now on show from time to time at the Tate bearing the title we gave it and could now be worth something approaching £100,000.

For our 40th Exhibition Alan Davie lent one of his paintings “HOPI STUDIES No. 7.1990 OPUS G 2119”. As was usual Henry Moore lent a work each year for our annual exhibitions which were held at the Corn Exchange until about 1980. Then after four years exhibiting at the Museum Annexe (until 1984) we returned back to the Corn Exchange until 2006.

 
"Head" by Henry Moore - Bronze 1984 (1 of 9) - Exhibited in 1987 Open Exhibition

Soon after inauguration in the mid-fifties the Society met weekly on Tuesday evenings for practical painting sessions and talks in the Priory Rooms (adjoining the Friends Meeting House) which we eventually outgrew and moved on to the Museum Annexe. After a year or two there we moved yet again to the refurbished Corn Exchange. In about 2007 the Cowbridge Halls became available to us for all our painting and exhibiting activities, so the only activity which is conducted away from the premises is our outdoor sketching programme in the summer months.

The Open Annual Exhibitions and the Member’s Annual Shows are now all mounted under the one roof. Membership currently averages 120 members.

Over the years since my involvement in the Society my wife Elaine took on the role of General Secretary for a long period and then a substantial period as Exhibition Secretary. My own contribution to the functioning of the Art Society was a term as Chairman, approximately 35 years as Exhibition Coordinator and over 20 years as Summer Programme Secretary.

The Art Society would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the current Marquess of Salisbury for his continuing involvement in our Society, following in the footsteps of his father, Lord Salisbury.

I am pleased personally to have this long association with such a fine Society and appreciate and thank the Membership for elevating me this year to become Vice-President.

Trevor Chamberlain ROI RSMA
Vice-President