Monthly Archives: May 2018

Update – June 2018

Dear Members

This is the time of year when we prepare for our AGM in July.  You will shortly be receiving the paperwork for this meeting either by email or in hard copy.   Those members who are not on email will be able to collect the paperwork at the June Lecture Meeting and we hope as many people who can will take advantage of this in order to reduce our postal costs which, nowadays, are considerable.

At the same time, there will also be the chance to renew your membership and the Renewal Papers will also be available for collection before they go in the post, so if you know anyone who is not on email, do tell them of this arrangement.  Naturally, we do hope you will want to renew your membership and this year you will be asked to complete an ‘opt-in’ section which gives the Society permission to hold and handle your contact details.  All assurances of our observance of the legal requirements will be listed on our Data Protection Policy a copy of which you will also find in your renewal papers, so there will quite a bundle for you either to download or to receive in paper form.

On to more social matters, Ann Pitt took a party on a Day Visit to Oxford on May 8th which was great fun and included a visit to the Ashmolean Musem and a special lecture on the history of its collections. The sun shone and the day went very well. We thank Ann for her meticulous planning.

Several of our members took the opportunity of attending the special service of celebration for the Golden Jubilee in Westminster Abbey on 16th May.  It was a most impressive and moving occasion at which our Royal Patron, The Duchess of Gloucester, was present.  Actor Simon Callow, musician and broadcaster Cerys Matthews and poet Mike Garry took part in the programme and there were compositions from Matthew Sheeran and Giacomo Smith. It was followed by the National AGM at Westminster Hall, for those representing their societies.  Sir Roy Strong gave an eloquent and impassioned appreciation of NADFAS/The Arts Society, thanking the rank and file volunteers who run the societies and who have over the fifty years contributed so much for the fabric of our heritage and fostered a love of the Arts across the world.  Our own member, Shaun Pitt, retiring Trustee and National Treasurer after 6 years’ service, explained the difficulties of the last financial year following the collapse of a travel company affiliate but reassured and encouraged the meeting by showing that the finances were in fact showing positive signs of recovery and should be back on track by 2020.  He departed with customary optimism, rocking the audience with a good joke well told, and it was clear that his fellow trustees would greatly miss his good advice and his humour on the board.  You will see Shaun’s name on your AGM papers as he has been proposed as our next Chairman.  Florian Schweizer, Chief Executive, spoke on the need for keeping up with modern trends of communication and management and the new National Chairman, Julie Goldsmith, succeeding outgoing June Robinson, was introduced to the assembly at the meeting.

The Leamington Spa Photographic Society held their annual award presentation and exhibition launch earlier this month at which, as a sponsor, I represented the Society.  The photographic display showed images which were wide-ranging in their subject matter and extremely impressive.  There is great talent locally and, even closer to home, among our own membership.  It was a most professional exhibition and highly enjoyable.

Church Trails: I wonder if anyone might be interested in composing a Church Trail.  It would be super if an individual or a couple of people working together might take on another church in our area.  There is support on hand for anyone who would like to do this as we have gathered quite a lot of experience from the excellent ones which we have done in the past.  Please let me know if the idea appeals to you.

Publicity:  The small Publicity Group also has spaces for anyone who wishes to help promote the  Arts Society by keeping up our profile in the local press and through advertising where possible and effective.   Please contact our President, Felicity Furber, or me if you are willing to help.

The June Lecture will be on Wednesday June 6th when we shall learn all about Basingstoke and its contribution to World Culture.  Rupert Willoughby will enlighten and, no doubt, surprise us, too.

See you then,

Best wishes
Elizabeth Hunter (Chairman)

Special Interest Day – How to Look at Paintings – March 2019

How to look at paintings – March 2019
Image supplied by the speaker

On Friday 15th March 2019, we will be hosting a Day of Special Interest at The Warwickshire Golf & Country Club, Leek Wootton, near Warwick CV35 7QT.

The speaker will be Stella Grace Lyons and the subject will be, "How to Look at Paintings: Unlocking hidden meanings in Art".

Stella gained her BA in the History of Art with first class honours from the University of Bristol and her MA in History of Art at the University of Warwick. She spent a year studying Renaissance art in Italy at the British Institute of Florence, and three months studying Venetian art in Venice. In addition, she attended drawing classes at the prestigious Charles H. Cecil studios in Florence.

Stella will introduce various art movements, cultural influences, artistic genres, artists and their work as well as different types of painting, such as narrative works and portraits. The aim of the day is to give the necessary skills to approach a painting and appreciate in depth its quality and its significance.

The cost of the day will be £42.00 which will include lunch. Tickets will be on sale at the February and March lectures.

Roz Crampton

Image supplied by the speaker

Update – May 2018

Dear Members

Congratulations to Angela Watkins, our church recorders’ group organiser, who was recently presented with a Golden Jubilee award by the Chairman of the West Midlands Area, Roly Trevor-Jones.  This is “in recognition and appreciation of her outstanding contribution to volunteering for The Arts Society”.  Angela has been group organiser almost since the inception of the church recording group in 1996. The group has recorded seven churches and is currently working at St Francis of Assisi, the Roman Catholic church in Baddesley Clinton.  Angela recently retired as the West Midlands Church Recorders’ Area Representative, having been in post for twelve years.

It is timely in this May update to mention the issue of GDPR which many of you will know is on the horizon. In order to comply with the new legislation concerning General Data Protection Regulation which is coming into force at the end of May, the Committee now has a Data Management Policy, available on request, which states which personal data the Society may keep with regard to members and how it will store and manage it.  Consequently, the Membership Renewal Form which is issued annually, will include wording to reassure members that the data will be used only for the purposes of running the Society efficiently and effectively.   You will be sent a copy of the Data Management Policy along with your papers for Membership Renewal and it will be available on the website.

At our May lecture, we shall have as our guest the West Midlands Area Chairman, Carolyn Trevor-Jones. She will say a few words before the lectures, so please be seated a few minutes earlier than usual to allow for this.

There are still some tickets for the dinner marking the national Golden Jubilee of the Arts Society and the Silver Anniversary of our own Society which is being held at Walton Hall near Wellesbourne.   They are very reasonably priced at £50 and include a drink of bubbly or soft drink on arrival.  I must say, the menu looks delicious and the setting will be magnificent.  The guest speaker will be Elizabeth, Lady Hamilton, biographer and historian whose family owns the estate and whose knowledge of the Hall and its history is personal and extensive.  It will be a memorable celebration and great fun. So add a touch of romance and glamour to your lives and spend a long summer evening with us.  The date is Wednesday 13th June, the time 7.00 for 7.30pm and Kate Varney will be selling tickets at the May meeting.

John Clark is just back from the wonderful tour he planned for members in Provence.  They have had a full schedule each day with visits to both traditional sights and more, including a boat trip. John’s own review runs like this: “Terence, our guide for the trip, was superb, full of facts, jolly and did his homework. This was especially useful when advising, negotiating and booking for our large group in restaurants. We visited Cézanne’s studio in Aix, kept just as he left it all those years ago. In Arles we ate at Café le Soir, the glowing pool of yellow which Van Gogh captured so brilliantly.  The Carrières de Luminères comprising thousands of digitalised images of works of art projected onto all the former quarry’s surfaces, moving to the rhythm of a musical soundtrack, was probably my favourite event.  Altogether a good show!” …. And he picked the best week of the year so far for it!

Very recently, indeed, Anne Flower with her customary care and emphasis on sharing, arranged for the Leamington Groups of Volunteers from the Art Gallery and All Saints Church to go over to Coventry to the group working at the Herbert Art Gallery, to see what their work involved.  It was a very useful morning of ‘exchange’ and both groups enjoyed discovering in more detail what the projects involved, quite apart from visiting the museum itself.

Ann Pitt is taking the Day Visit to Oxford on May 8th which is proving a very popular event with its walking tour and museum visit.  We hope you have a very good day out.

I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday 2nd May for the lecture on Piero della Francesca by Shirley Smith.

Best wishes,
Elizabeth Hunter (Chairman)