THE ARTS SOCIETY SHREWSBURY

DateNews
11 October 2017Chairman's Annual Report 2016/17
10 October 2017September 2017 Newsletter
19 September 2017Shrewsbury Drapers Textile Competition
18 September 2017Lecturer to speak to Shrewsbury College students
18 August 2017Visit to Chillington Hall near Codsall.
05 July 2017A visit to Chipping Campden
29 June 2017Children's Trail helps visitors explore history of Shrewsbury's Georgian church
16 June 2017SDFAS Chairman's Annual Party
07 June 2017Visit to Wern Isaf, Conwy and Bodnant Gardens.
21 May 2017Shropshire Student's Work on Display at The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
07 May 2017A Visit to Yorkshire
04 May 2017Winner of Arts Bursary Announced
23 April 2017Chairman's Newsletter - April 2017
19 April 2017Shrewsbury Drapers Company Textile Competition 2017
09 March 2017Visit to Hagley Hall and Harvington Hall

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Chairman's Annual Report 2016/17
Wednesday 11 October 2017

Chairman’s Annual Report for the 35th Annual General Meeting
to be held at the Lord Hill Hotel on Wednesday 18th October 2017 at 1.45pm

 


Dear Members


This has been an eventful year for NADFAS and for Shrewsbury DFAS in particular. To
celebrate the 50th anniversary, the year started with the rebranding of NADFAS to The Arts
Society. I attended the launch in London and witnessed the unveiling of the new name, the
monogram, the strapline and the colours. There was a positive reception for the elegant and
straightforward new name and image reflecting clearly what we stand for. The Trustees’ aim
was to be less elitist and exclusive to help increase our national membership to 100,000 to
give us a bigger voice in the Arts world.


At Shrewsbury DFAS, an exciting initiative has been the Queen’s 90th Birthday Young Arts
Bursary which was launched after the 2016 summer event hosted generously by Sir
Algernon and Lady Heber-Percy at Hodnet Hall which enabled us to raise the funds to offer
support to a young person educated in Shropshire. The winner, Callum Blees, is clearly a very
exciting and worthy winner, and we congratulate him and wish him luck for the future. We
look forward to hearing how our money has helped him in his career ambitions. It is very
significant that the first page on the new national website for The Arts Society featured
Shrewsbury DFAS and the story of Callum Blees. See https://theartssociety.org/home .


Another exciting event was the holding of the National AGM in The Town Hall in Birmingham
on 17th May 2017. There were many related events, the highlights being the Chairman’s
Reception at the Barber Institute and the Chairman’s Dinner at the Council House. At all the
events, it was noted what a good presence there was from Shrewsbury DFAS. Above all, the
whole week was a resounding success, and we have been told that Birmingham will now be
the benchmark against which all future out-of-town AGMs will be measured.
At Shrewsbury DFAS, we had our first UK tour for 20 years which was spent visiting some
glorious houses and their collections in Yorkshire. We had a very interesting and enjoyable
time, and I am sure this will be the first of many future trips.
Of course, at the heart of The Arts Society and Shrewsbury SDFAS are the lectures. They are
the core of what we are all about. We have had a very varied and interesting year of talks
now enhanced by our new splendid audio visual equipment. It is always good not to cherry
pick from the programme as sometimes the most unpromising titles (to our taste) turn out
to be the highlights of the year. In other words, my advice is to come to everything!
The Committee Reports which follow show you what a lively and busy society we have. I
know you will want to join me in thanking our wonderful committee for all their imaginative
ideas and all their work they do for us – all on a voluntary basis. We are extremely lucky to
have such a great team, and I am very grateful to each one of them.


Finally, I would like to thank you all for your support and appreciation of our efforts. We are
fortunate in having a vibrant society with a lovely membership of about 260 with nearly 180
attending each month. I look forward to having a happy year ahead which will include our
own special sparkling evening of celebration of the 50th anniversary of NADFAS. Details will
follow, but meanwhile save the date of Saturday 19th May 2018 at 6.30pm!


With very best wishes to you all


Yvonne Bridgeland
Chairman
Shrewsbury Decorative and Fine Arts Society
Tel 01952 511977 and Mobile 07816060993
Email ybridgeland@btinternet.com


Shrewsbury Decorative and Fine Arts Society
Committee Reports for the 35th Annual General Meeting
to be held at the Lord Hill Hotel on Wednesday 18th October 2017 at 1.45pm


PROGRAMME


We have this year had a marvellously diverse range of lectures on topics ranging from
Armour as an art form to Roman Egyptian Mummy portraits and the Modern Art Movement
to name but a few. The standard of lectures has been truly excellent and I think I can
confidently say we have all learnt a great deal. In March Deborah Yates and I attended the
Directory Day in London and we are very encouraged at the number of exciting new
lecturers and topics which will fit very nicely into the expanded range of art forms that the
rebranding of the Society has brought about. Our December lecture is on Charles Dickens,
Conjurer which I am sure you will feel is a festive way to lead into the Christmas period. We
endeavour to plan a programme each year which will have something for everyone and will
be of the highest standards and I can assure you we have some excellent new topics to look
forward to in 2018.
Pippa Walker


VISITS
The visits continue to be very well supported. The annual trip in February was a visit to
Birmingham to see a very moving and captivating performance of Cinderella by The Royal
Ballet. In March, we visited Hagley Hall and Harvington Hall, one a Palladian mansion and the
other an Elizabethan moated Manor House. In May, we had a three day visit to Yorkshire
staying in the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate; we combined visits to stately homes, galleries,
Turkish baths, Bettys and some enjoyed the wonderful shops for retail therapy. In June we
had a trip to North Wales exploring the work of the architect Herbert Luck North. In July we
will visit Chipping Camden, an Arts and Craft tour and Chillington Hall. Later on in the year,
we have planned a trip to Liverpool to see the John Piper exhibition.
Corinne Russell


DAY OF SPECIAL INTEREST – JEWELLERY WITH JOHN BENJAMIN
65 people attended our Day of Special Interest on 1st March to hear John Benjamin, a
contributor to Antiques Roadshow, historian and writer, inform and delight us with his
lectures. The first, entitled ‘Jewellery from Elizabeth 1 to Victoria’, explained how pearls
were originally the most valued jewel and illustrated this with a famous picture of Queen
Elizabeth 1 bedecked in them. Until the art and skill of cutting diamonds came into being
they were just black stones. The second lecture of the morning, ‘20th Century Jewellery’,
took us through the stages of fashion in jewellery such as Art Deco, costume and modern
jewellery and told us about the changing tastes and increasing values in some styles. The
afternoon session was a workshop where John Benjamin identified, authenticated and
valued attendees’ items of jewellery. The feedback after the event has been highly
complimentary both in regard to the speaker, the lunch and the entire day.
Jane Benson


HERITAGE VOLUNTEERS
We have several projects which have been running for some time but we are actively looking
for more opportunities for our members to become involved in heritage work
1 The Shropshire Archives: There has been a dedicated group who have been working away
for years cleaning and conserving historical documents. We are hoping to have a meeting
with the new Archivist shortly to find out where she feels we could continue and expand our
volunteering.
2 Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust: The latest project with metal blocks from the 19th century
Aga catalogues has just been completed, and there are discussions as to whether we could
be involved in cataloguing more of the Elton Collection. This would involve pictures and
ephemera belonging to the Collection.
3 We have been in touch with Rupert Acton, project manager for Pitchford Hall, who came
up with some suggestions. The person who is busy cleaning all the panelling in the Hall
would welcome some help. She would be happy to lead and guide a small team. It is a
physical job and quite hard work but very rewarding. They also want to redo and update
their small brochure which would be under the guidance of Rupert Acton. It could require
photography, editing and some research. If we had any keen gardeners who would be
interested in redesigning and planting an herbaceous border, there could be a great
opportunity.
If any of the above projects appeal to you, please get in touch with Caroline Auger. Also if
you are aware of a heritage project that requires volunteers, do please let me know and we
can follow it up.
I will keep you updated when we have more news. Most people who have volunteered over
the past few years have really enjoyed the involvement and have found the experience very
interesting. We would encourage people to give it a try.
Caroline Auger


CHURCH RECORDING
All but two sections of the Unitarian Church Record have been written up and formatted in
keeping with The Arts Society guidelines. Once the text for the Textiles and Miscellaneous
sections have been received and formatted we will have a complete first draft for proofreading,
correcting and cross-referencing, from which a second draft can be produced and
sent to the West Midlands Area CR representative for checking and comment. It may be 2 -
3 months, or more, before we get to that stage depending on individual holiday and work
commitments.
Martin Locke


CHURCH TRAILS
The Church Trail for St Chad’s Church, Shrewsbury has been completed and tested out by
some children at the church. It will be handed over to St Chad’s on Sunday 25th June after
the Eucharist service at 10.00am. Our first Church Trail which we created for Shrewsbury
Cathedral will need to be updated after their recent renovations, so we would be very
grateful for help in doing this.
Ann Jackson


YOUNG ARTS
REPORT ON ARTS BURSARY
Shrewsbury DFAS commemorated Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday by funding an Arts
Bursary. The Bursary was available to anyone who had been educated at secondary schools
or within a 20-mile radius of Shrewsbury. In 2016 Sir Algernon Heber Percy generously
hosted a dinner for the Arts Society Shrewsbury, and £2000 for the Arts Bursary was raised
by contributions from guests at this dinner. 16 applications were received. The standard was
outstanding and the Panel had a real struggle to choose just three finalists who came to
Shrewsbury for an interview. The finalists were 18year old Callum Blees from Shrewsbury
College of Arts; Ella Walker aged 23years and educated at Ellesmere College; and Bethan
Lloyd aged 23 from Thomas Adam School. We are delighted to announce that the winner of
the SDFAS Queen's 90th Birthday £2000 Arts Bursary is Callum Blees who is a young man
with an astonishing talent and a great future ahead of him. He has a creative mind and
thinks big! Callum has agreed to report back to Shrewsbury DFAS on how he has benefited
from this award. Ella and Bethan are both very talented and the panel is confident they will
succeed in their chosen careers. We would like to thank all those who applied for this
Bursary and wish them well for the future.
Briony Cooper


MAKE YOUR MARK COMPETITION
The Make Your Mark art exhibition was organised by the NADFAS West Midlands Area team
for A-level art students in the area as part of the NADFAS National AGM in Birmingham. It
was lovely to see the Shrewsbury DFAS entry of a self-portrait by Jessica Martin-Jones of
Ellesmere College displayed as part of a short list of 14 at a sparkling evening at The Royal
Birmingham Society of Arts and on exhibition until 27th May.


THE DRAPERS COMPANY
The Young Textile Design Competition was held on 13th June 2017 with 60 entries from 8
schools in an exhibition at St Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury. The Drapers Company are very
grateful to Shrewsbury DFAS for their generous sponsorship and support for the Drapers
Textile Competitions. The junior art competition, with an open theme, was aimed at KS2 and
KS3 whose winners were given a Bronze, Silver or Gold award. It is exciting for SDFAS to be
involved with these wonderful initiatives for young people in Shrewsbury.


SHROPSHIRE YOUTH THEATRE
There was an excellent production of SYT’s The Importance of Being Earnest on 5th and 6th
April 2017. It was good to see our £500.00 put to good use in the creation of their scenery.
Jerry Wallace


EVENTS
This year's summer social event will take place at Preston Hall, Preston Brockhurst on
Thursday 7th September. The venue is an impressive grade II listed house built in 1652. We
are there by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Christopher Corbet who are very generously
sharing both their time and home with us. We are looking forward to an evening of fine
architecture, history and good food.
Whenever organising an event, there is always the niggle, at the back of the mind, that
insufficient people will want to attend. Perhaps everyone will be away? or is it too
expensive? or perhaps it is not of interest? I need not have worried. I had received cheques
for all 60 places in about one week. I am delighted that this event has caught members'
imaginations, and thank them for their support, but equally I am sorry that there have been
a few disappointed people. Why choose small venues for events? you may ask, and the
answer is that there aren't many bigger venues in Shropshire. I hope it is of some
consolation that places were allocated on a strictly 'first come basis'.
Ceri Lewis


WEBSITE and PUBLICITY
During the year, the website has continued to be updated with information about lectures,
visits and other items of interest. Much work has already gone into preparations for
rebranding and changes will include the facility to display more photographs on each page.
The Mailchimp distribution system has been used to alert members to the subject of each
month’s lecture, complemented by posts on Facebook and Twitter.
The Shropshire Magazine has continued to support our Society with features on our work
and inclusion in the Society pages. Articles have been featured in the NADFAS Review and
the new Arts Society website, and BBC Radio Shropshire has interviewed members of the
committee giving good publicity to our Arts Bursary.
Anne Wignall