logo



Menston Arts Club: 50 years old and still going strong!

When the founder members met 50 years ago in the Yorkshire village of Menston, on the edge of Ilkley Moor, they decreed that the aim of their new Club should be

'to encourage expression and appreciation of the visual ARTS'

and that aim has been followed faithfully ever since. Those founder members, Alfred Wilkinson, Paul Buckingham. Charlie Marchinton and Ann Carr, were led by Richard Bayer - David Hockney's tutor, mentor and friend. Ann Carr is still an active member producing fine work that she regularly exhibits.

Membership has to be limited to 80 for building safety, which results in a waiting list for vacancies and, alas, the original annual subscription of 1-10-00 (1.50 in new money!) has had to be increased over the years to 45. Club members meet on most weeks throughout the year at the Kirklands Community Centre in Menston village. The syllabus for the meetings is diverse with lectures on art history and collections; demonstrations of technique ranging from painting and drawing to Origami; and workshops and illustrated talks presented by visitors or our own members on a wide range of ART subjects.

Twice a year we have a two-day exhibition of members' work in the large hall of the Kirklands Centre. Members are encouraged to submit three framed works for hanging and can also exhibit a portfolio of up to twelve unframed pieces with most of the work being for sale. There is also a craft stall exhibiting and selling members' hand-made work and the whole is supported by a cafe offering delicious refreshments.

In recent years a group of members have joined together for a painting weekend at Cober Hill on the Yorkshire coast.

Recently, members entered a nationwide competition organised by the SAA involving sharing in the use of a 'lay flat' sketchpad. The Club's work was judged 'highly recommended' and the pictures were subsequently used in a limited-edition calendar which was almost completely sold out at the November exhibition. The last copy of that calendar will be displayed at the Club's next exhibition in May 2016. This will be a special event and to celebrate the Club's 50th anniversary there will be a preview evening which will be opened by local celebrity, Charlotte Leeming.