Anniversary for Belper Art Group

Picture by Nick Lockett
Picture by Nick Lockett

A gem of an exhibition is being promised by Belper Art Group to celebrate their 40th birthday this year.

To mark the ruby anniversary the 24 members are staging a one-day show of work created for their annual competition at the Strutts Centre in the town on May 9 during the month-long Belper Arts Festival.

Fittingly the theme of the open category in the competition is Ruby and the group’s treasurer Anne Devenport says they are hoping for some very interesting entries.

The artists will also be submitting work in six other categories, oil and acrylics, watercolour, mixed media, drawing, photographic and pastels.

They are certainly a diverse group and it is that which has probably helped them reach the milestone anniversary.

While in one spot an experienced artist is working in pastels, next to him a relatively new starter is experimenting with watercolour. In another corner an adventurous artist is creating digital work on a tablet.

They meet every Thursday evening on a pretty informal basis when everyone is encouraged to relax and work at their own pace. They have themed evenings but if it is not your thing you can just carry on with your own work.

“This is an enthusiastic gathering of like-minded people with a wide range of abilities and skills, but what people like about it is that there is always friendly advice available,” explained Anne.

Secretary Andy Mayers is one of the younger members of the group and what he likes is that there is so much experience among them. Two of the 24 are honorary members and one of them is 86-year-old Albert Pickersgill who was a founder member.

“He is still a very active member of the group and it is incredible that he has been involved for so many years, but what is even better is that while we still have people like Albert involved there are new people getting involved all the time,” said Andy.

“Our annual competition evening on May 7, from which the exhibition is being staged, is an important part of the year as we invite artist from other clubs to come along and vote for their favourites. It is fun and a good chance to meet other artists from the area.”

Trophies will be presented to winners that night and there is a private view of the exhibition on the evening of May 8 ahead of it being opened to the public.

The Belper group prides itself on getting involved in the community and will be also staging an exhibition at the North Mill in the town as part of the Belper Arts Festival’s Arts Trail, which is being held over the bank holiday on May 3 and 4.

For more information about the Belper Art Group and to see some examples of their previous work for yourself visit their website