The Chairman, John Smith, apologised for the change of date of the June lecture due to the General Election on 8 June, and made the following announcements:
- In May 42 members enjoyed a tour to Yorkshire and John thanked Halina Heyworth for her excellent organisation.
- Tickets are now on sale for Visit to Chartwell House and Gardens visit on 19 June and “The Romanovs” Special Interest Day on 7 September at Riverhouse Barn.
- The July lecture is entitled “The Art of Enamelling” – on 13 July by Dr Sally Hoban.
- Current Exhibition at Riverhouse – “Rafael Slekenov – Romantics of the Steppes" – until 25 June.
- Mail Chimp bulletins appear to be well-received and members were asked to inform the Membership Secretary of their email address if they had not already done so.
The Chairman, John Smith, gave a short presentation to explain the NADFAS rebranding. It is changing its name to The Arts Society, with effect from 17 May 2017. This has resulted in a change of our name from Walton & Hersham DFAS to “The Arts Society Walton”. Details of our new website TheArtsSocietyWalton.org were announced together with the new logos and banner (Canaletto “A View of Walton Bridge 1754” – by permission of the trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery, London). The new website has been designed by Laurence Shafe (past Chairman of WHDFAS) for which the Society is extremely grateful.
Change of date of next lecture to 15 June “The Splendours of North Africa – Roman and Islamic Art of Libya, Tunis and Morocco” – when we will be selling tickets for:
- Visit to Chartwell House and Gardens on 19 July
- Special Interest Day “The Romanovs – Tyrants and Martyrs of Imperial Russia” 7 September
Following the success in the National Chairman’s Young Arts Competition 2017 there was a display of the entries from Burhill Primary School and Bell Farm Primary school.
There will be Committee vacancies in 2018 for Young Arts and Special Interest Day organisers as well as Secretary. Please contact the Chairman, Vice Chairman or any member of the existing Committee for further information.
On 13 April Anthea Streeter gave an outstanding talk on Thomas Heatherwick ‘The Leonardo of Our Times’. The talk was attended by 141 members and 12 guests who learned the fascinating story of Heatherwick who was trained as a designer rather than an architect yet his ‘hairy pavilion’ at the 2010 Shanghai World Fair won the gold prize for best pavilion.
Children from two local primary schools, Bell Farm and Burhill, have emerged as winners in the National Chairman’s Young Arts Competition 2017. Its theme – ‘Precious’- was reflected in an ingeniously diverse range of 33 artworks including sculptures, drawings, photographs, pottery and collages.
The winners in the 8-10 Years Category were six Year 5 children attending Burhill Primary School who had submitted a group entry of Queen Victoria’s Crown forming a mosaic of nine decorated tiles. Also successful were two 11 year old pupils from Bell Farm Primary School who were Highly Commended for their entries – a colourful sculpture of a baby and an intricate treasure chest.
This was the first time local schools participated in the National Chairman’s Young Arts Competition and we are delighted with their success and the quality of the artworks produced. Our congratulations to everybody involved in this project.
Our next lecture is by Brian Slater who is talking on ‘Photography as Fine Art’ in Hersham Village Hall on 11 May at 2:30pm.
Should we accept that the very best photographs can be regarded as Fine Art? This question is at the heart of a lecture which argues that photography can equal, not to say excel, more traditional disciplines in the key genres of portraiture, landscape and still life. Photography, moreover, has carved its own area of excellence in depicting the human condition. All these ideas are discussed with reference to the work of some of the acknowledged masters of photography, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Fay Goodwin, Bill Brandt, Ansel Adams and Wolfgang Tillmans.
Brian Slater’s chief interests lie in photography, architecture and history and he combines all three in his lecturing career. He has taught at University College London since 1997 and became an Art Society lecturer in 2003. He is a member of the Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography and an exhibition of his own photographs has been staged at UCL.
NADFAS is changing its name to ‘The Arts Society’ on 17 May 2017 and following an extensive internal review and discussion the Committee decided to recommend changing the name of our society from ‘Walton & Hersham Decorative and Fine Arts Society (WHDFAS)’ to ‘The Arts Society Walton’. In line with this decision our new website is called TheArtsSocietyWalton.org and we are excited by the fact that it will be one of the first in the country to go live with the new name, design and logo.
Simon Rees held a Special Interest Day called “Backstage at the Opera” that was attended by 46 members, a good turnout. Simon established a great rapport with the audience and he gave a wonderfully enthusiastic, entertaining and professional presentation.
David Phillips gave a interesting and entertaining talk on “Income and Inspiration: Financial Secrets of the Masters” that was attended by 132 members and five guests.
The Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre is currently holding an exhibition of tapestries from Mount Felix School. This was a project that we funded under our Young Arts scheme.