Our History

Menston Arts Club was founded in the early 60's by Alfred Wilkinson, Paul Buckingham, Charlie Marchinton and Anne Carr, led by Richard Bayer, David Hockney's tutor, mentor and friend and who was then the Arts master at Bradford Grammar School.
The aims of the club were (and still are) “to encourage the expression and appreciation of the visual arts”.
The club's conception in the 1960's was an exciting time for the Arts. Whilst the Beatles and the Stones were transforming popular music; Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and David Hockney were putting their own stamp on the visual arts.
In those early days, Menston Arts Club met in the Menston Arms and held their first exhibition there in 1967. The club's initial membership of 18 has steadily grown and due to fire regulations has now been capped at 80. Having outgrown the pub, the club now meets on Mondays at Kirkland's Community Centre in Menston.
Alas, the annual membership fee of one pounds and ten shillings has also increased but at £45.00 it still remains good value!

Thanks to our friendly and enthusiastic members, Menston Arts Club still retains the aims of our founders and in 2018, we reached the finals of the “Art Club of the Year” competition, organised by 'The Artist' and its sister magazine 'The Leisure Painter'.
The club holds two exhibitions of member's work every year at Kirkland's, with a cafe, craft stall (all hand made), raffle and the very popular 'best exhibit competition' as voted for by visitors. We also produce our own Calendar featuring members recent paintings.

The syllabus remains as diverse as ever (see our programme page). Meetings include demonstrations by leading artists, workshops (with and without guidance), illustrated talks, life classes, social meetings and critique evenings, where artists can bring their own work for appraisal and positive feedback.
Recent extracurricular events have included “plein air” excursions, exhibitions, visits to galleries, sketching and painting outings and visits to places of interest to artists.
In 2019 we visited Rosemary's Brushes where Rosemary gave us a demonstration of how the best art brushes are made.
Our members regularly exhibit their work locally and recently have been shown at Ripon Cathedral, Ilkley Art Show, Leeds Grammar School, St. Gemma's exhibition and on the Big Screen at Bradford.