On Monday 10 April this year we visited the Port Sunlight Village and the Lady Lever Gallery in Cheshire. We traveled by coach, Robin Hood Travel,(an excellent company to work with incidentally) arriving at the venue in good time to view the Lady Lever Gallery exhibition of paintings and sculptures taking advantage to view several PreRaphaelite works of art. A very worthwhile visit, we really needed more time to take in all of the fantastic exhibits. Lunch was available at several tea rooms and afterwards we all met up to enjoy a visit to the museum where we were treated to a 20 minute film show “Sunlight Spirit” exploring social living through the decades, this was surprisingly very interesting, with many “oh! I remember that”s. Ashort tour of the village gave the opportunity to look in more detail at the unique architecture and landscape. There was also a “Pub” and new garden centre, so there really was something for all. We were joined for the day by a few members and wives of the Stoke-on-Trent Male Voice Choir, WI ladies (fully clothed) and members of my local art group. So it really was a group of mixed interests and everyone ‘got on” famously. A very pleasant day was had by all and some new friendships made. Many thanks to all of you who took part.
This years’ Art in the Park event in Leek took place over the weekend of Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 May. As in previous years, the Society had a stand at this event hosted principally by Eric England, but he asked for any Society members who could volunteer to spare the time and support him in promoting the Society. In the past Jean Byatt and Philip Proudlove have helped with this event, this year Philip added his contribution. The show, as usual, brought in many local residents and considering the Society was not selling products as other stalls we had a lot of interest and many leaflets were taken. Edward Mckensie and Jean and John Byatt turned up over the weekend to offer their support and on the back of this appearance, both Eric and Philip were invited to showcase their work and help promote the Society at Endon Well Dressing the following Bank Holiday weekend.
Jean Byatt, a long time member of the Society won this prize as the peoples choice during the 2016 Newcastle Open Exhibition. Jean was given the opportunity to showcase her work in the hall gallery at the Brampton Museum. This exhibition also ran from 1 April to 4 June. Jean had 23 paintings on show in a wide range of media, showing her competence in several disciplines.
Tuesday 2 May was the opening night for the 2017 Spring exhibition at Keele University. There was an extremely good turnout, as commented on by several people that night. The evening started at 6.00pm and was officially opened by Fiona Cownie the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Keele University. She welcomed everyone for attending and explained the thinking behind the exhibition. Afterwards she introduced John Thirlwall, the Society President, who thanked her and spent some time thanking several members of the Society and Keele staff for their work behind the scenes. John particularly picked out the work by Sue Fox, Mike Reeves, Lesley Miller and Philip Proudlove who had taken part in receiving work, adjudicating, and preparing the posters, catalogue and labels. In John’s own words he said: “I think that the quality of unobtrusive efforts too often go unnoticed and unheralded, but just to let you know that I thought these added much to the quality of the show. I also feel that the quality of the information board and the supportive comments from the Pro-Vice Chancellor and the work of Kerry Jones all deserve acknowledgment from us.”