Sunday, 19 December 2010

For Auld Lang Syne

Architctural Fragment (Pilot disposable pen in A5 sketchbook)

One of the traditions of the Art Club is to hold a bit of a party in the studio on a Thursday shortly before Xmas. And that's what we did last Thursday. Despite a fresh scattering of snow, there was a good turnout of around 25 people. The tables were well presented with pies, cakes, sausage rolls, and all the other things that members had thought fit to bring., including bottles of wine.

We all had a good time, but what made this one memorable and worthy of comment here, I think, is that this was the last such party we'll ever have in the studio at Bolbec Hall. Things have been uncomfortable at Bolbec for some time now, because the owners can't let the rest of the building, they're losing money on it hand over fist and a new buyer hasn't been forthcoming. Would you want to buy a building with the oldest (listed) lift in Newcastle and an art club in the attic?

So, in April next year. we'll up sticks and move to new premises at the Newcastle Arts Centre. This promises to be an interesting new era for us. I understand the studio there isn't quite as big as the one we currently occupy and it will cost us more, but I'm sure there will be compensations (not least the presence of an arts materials shop downstairs).

The club will also be changing it's name from the North of England Art Club (incorporating the Newcastle Society of Artists) to the Newcastle Society of Artists (incorporating the North of England Art Club). You see what we did there? There are historical reasons for the change, as well as practical ones - galleries are more interested in a "Society" than a "Club", for instance.

So the party was a good one, but certainly a poignant one.


Trevor Lingard said...

Hi Harry
Sorry to hear of the art group changes, but lets hope they are for the better.
Bet it was a sad occasion at the party, but it sounds like you are a strong group.
I wish Newcastle Society of Artists all the best for the future.
Best regards to you and your family.

harry bell said...

Thank you, Trevor. The Club dates back to 1867, so it's proven pretty resilient. I'm sure it'll weather the changes to come. But I thank you for your kind wishes and I offer my good wishes to you and yours for a fine Xmas and a very happy new year

Anonymous said...

I used to be a member of the Spectro Arts Workshop in Newcastle, which has some 'history' with the Newcastle Arts Centre, but which I think has now effectively been incorporated into it.

Nothing like that here unfortunately, although several Societies of one sort or another.

harry bell said...

Spectro Arts Workshop was formed by Mike Tilley and Norma Pickard at the beginning of the 70s. Following a dispute with the Trustees Mike and Norma quit Spectro and formed Newcastle Arts Centre Limited in July 1981.

What actually happened to Spectro after that is unclear. Withered on the vine, presumably.

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere on the web a while back that it was going to merge back into the Arts Centre, but I can't find that anymore.

harry bell said...

No, I can't find any recent references to it now.