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Weybridge Art Society - join the club

PUBLISHED: 12:31 24 April 2013 | UPDATED: 12:31 24 April 2013

Weybridge Art Society (Photo: Pete Gardner)

Weybridge Art Society (Photo: Pete Gardner)

Pete Gardner

This time, we meet the members of Weybridge Art Society who have an important exhibition coming up this month

The low-down:

In a nutshell: Founded on a basis of membership selection, Weybridge Art Society aims to promote high quality and challenging art via its local exhibitions and its website.

Person interviewed: Kate Merrigan, chairman

Been a member for: Over ten years.

Joined because... of a recommendation from an already established member.

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When was the club set up?

It was founded in 1939 to promote local art of a very high standard both professional and amateur.

How many members do you have?

We currently have 40 members but welcome applications from potential new members (see details below).

Where do you meet?

At different venues to mount our twice-yearly exhibitions: The Barn and Robert Phillips Gallery at Riverhouse in Walton-on-Thames; Weybridge Library Hall; and now, for the first time in Spring 2013, the Weybridge Hall (in Church Street, opposite Weybridge library), which has been recently refurbished to a very high decorative standard and will provide us with a really stunning venue.

What’s the best thing about being a member?

The chance to exhibit alongside some of the most accomplished amateur and professional artists from Weybridge and the surrounding area, and to be able to offer this quality of work to the visiting public to be enjoyed and purchased if desired at very modest prices.

Do you find being surrounded by like-minded individuals inspiring?

Yes, we all draw inspiration from each others’ work when we see it hanging together, and learn a lot from each other through mutual comment and criticism. We also benefit from the camaraderie of hanging and running the exhibitions together, which in turn encourages us to keep producing new work (otherwise making art can be a very lonely business!).

Have you got links with other clubs?

Most of our members also belong to Chertsey Artists, and some to Molesey Art Society.

What’s the most interesting story from the group’s history?

When I first became chairman, I received a letter from Pauline Norman, a founder member, who told me how she had had to try several times all those years ago to get past the stringent selection requirements of the Weybridge Society of Art (as it was then called) before being accepted, and actually found it easier to have work accepted by the Royal Academy. An indication of the sort of standard that was, and still is, expected from our artists!

…and the funniest?

On the evening when I was trying to find my way to my first committee meeting as chairman, I managed to get completely lost on the poorly-lit Surrey roads and only arrived at the meeting as the committee were bringing it to a close. Not a very impressive start as chairman! Since then, we have held our meetings in daylight, which makes life a lot easier.

When is your next event that is open to the public/potential new members?

Our spring 2013 exhibition will take place between Friday May 24 and Tuesday May 28 at the newly-refurbished Weybridge Hall (in Church Street, Weybridge, opposite Weybridge library). It will be open to the visiting public between those dates and there is still time before then to apply for membership and exhibit. Send about six jpegs of recent work and a brief CV to katemerrigan_@hotmail.com – or you can apply via the ‘Contact Us’ page on our website (weybridgeartsociety.com).

Describe your club in five words..

Friendly, enthusiastic, talented, dedicated, focussed.

• For more information about Weybridge Art Society, visit their website at weybridgeartsociety.com

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