© Lowestoft Art Group

Welcome to Lowestoft Art Group

A HISTORY OF THE LOWESTOFT ART GROUP

(formerly known as ‘The Lowestoft & District Art Group’)

- The Early Days


In the late nineteen forties, a group of local artists met to form an Art Society which was to meet monthly in a building, (now the Academy of Music),  situated in the High Street, Lowestoft.  After only a few months this group collapsed due to poor support and a lack of funds. However, two of its members are still  members today.


During the early fifties a second group was formed by the then Principal of the Regent Road Art School, Miss Varley. The meetings were held Monthly at the Morton Road School of Art. This society continued until Miss Varley retired, moving from the Lowestoft area, leaving a void for those with an interest in Art. Then Arthur Lee and Wilf Sutton started a group and advertised in the Journal asking those interested to attend a meeting. They got about ½ a dozen members one of them being Gerald Rose (not a relative of our lovely Donny). After about six months this club collapsed. At this time there was also a club called ‘Lowestoft and District Arts Society’.  Wilf exhibited at this club. It was a very high standard of work  and was very difficult to get into.


In 1959 an advertisement appeared in the Lowestoft Journal, asking those interested in Art to attend a meeting at The Hatfield Hotel. The meeting was well attended. Those present were Hubert Palfrey, Dr. Vining, Peter Lang, Colin Self, Wilfred Sutton and Peter Beare.  The present Lowestoft & District Art Group was duly formed. Among the Officers and Committee were Dr. and Mrs Roy Vining, the late Mr Hubert Palfrey and Mr. Peter Lang.  An early exhibition was held at the hotel. However, the Group really got underway with its first major exhibition at St. John's Church Hall in December, 1960.






Over the last 50  years of existence the quality of work by members has increased.   The generosity of spirit among the experienced members gives an added warmth to the Group as a whole. The principle aim of the Group is to increase and develop knowledge and ability in the appreciation and performance of Art. In the past such well-known artists as Rowland Fisher, Jeffery Camp, and many others have exhibited with us. Several of our Members have their own one-man shows each year, but the most important thing of all is the quality of work for which the Group is renowned and the awareness of Art that it has given to the public.


Our meetings are now held twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Fridays in each month, at St. Mark’s Church Hall, Oulton Broad, Church functions allowing, and we hold one Exhibition per year - in the Summer.



Based on ‘A History of the Group’ by Wilfred Sutton (written in 1989 & revised in February 1998)

with further input from Wilf, David Balder, Peter Beare and Gordon Goodman.

This was also the venue for their meetings. The exhibition was success­ful, lasting two weeks, entry was by catalogue (see above) at 6d each (pre-decimal). This list contained 150 exhibits, including oils, watercolours, line drawings plus pottery and mosaic. The highest priced work was by artist Jeffery Camp at 25 guineas and the lowest by S. Shaw and J. Roberts at 1 guinea. The average price being around 7 guineas. At this time the club had about 10 meetings a year.


A few years later the exhibition venue moved to the Copperfield Lounge at the Suffolk Hotel on the site now occupied by MacDonald's. The Secretary had to guarantee that no nails or screws should be driven into the walls. The walls had to be lined with special screens, these being made by the members at the old hall which is now the Fisheries. Each year these screens were taken to the 'Suffolk', erected and removed at the close of the exhibition.  Present Members are very fortunate that they are not involved in such hard work today. The Group continued to hold its exhibitions at the Hotel until the ownership changed.


It was with regret that the Group moved as the Hotel was a very good venue. The the new South Lowestoft Methodist Church became available and the Group was pleased to have the use of the Hall for its exhibitions. This was not successful, however; the public only coming to see the exhibitions in dribs and drabs. After several years the Group decided to hold its exhibitions in the new public library.


From 15th - 27th July, 1985, on the 25th year of the formation of the Group, a special celebration exhibition was held at the Regent Road Art Centre Gallery. This exhi­bition was an 'Art for Art's Sake' display. No paintings were for sale and old ex-Members and relatives of deceased Members were asked to submit paintings. This was one of the best ever Group exhibitions, the lovely Gallery showing the works to their best advantage. So now the Group held its Annual Exhibition there every Summer and both local people and visitors became aware of the Gallery and its exhibits. Unfortuately the gallery closed in 1995.


Our meetings were held every fortnight, usually on the first and third Fridays of the month, at the Lord Kitchener's Memorial Holiday Centre, Kirkley Cliff, where working evenings were held including life-drawing, painting & workshops. The group had even painted to the music of the Flamenco Guitar.  Also popular in the programme were criticism evenings, dis­cussion groups, slide shows and talks on the Old Masters, Impressionists and Modern artists and demonstrations by both local and visiting pres­tigious professional artists such as the late Edward Wesson,  Sydney Vale, Jason Partner, Ron Ranson and lan Houston. The Group was the first in the area to organise specialist painting weekends and outdoor art exhibitions.

1st page of the 1960 Exhibition catalogue


LOWESTOFT & DISTRICT ART GROUP

FIRST EXHIBITION

3rd - 10th December. 1960

CATALOGUE....6d.

WATER COLOURS, AND, DRAWINGS.

No.             Title

1 Cley Mill, Norfolk

2 Old Cottage, Wrentham

3 Covehithe

4 Hayrick, Mobbs' Farm

5 Grove House, Kessingland

6 R.N. Memorial, Lowestoft

7 Industrial Landscape

8 Oulton Broad

9 Gale off Corton Roads

10 Bishops Bridge, Norwich

11 Routine Work

12 Fishing Boat, South of France

13 Kessingland Country

14 Marshes, Beccles

15 Old Flemish House, Kersey

16 Suffolk Scene

17 Glevering, Wickham Market

18 Convolvulus

19 Washerwomen of Assisi

20 Sailing Barge off Lowestoft

21 Summer Squall

22 Boats, Lake Lothing

23 Jungfrau from Wengeren Alp

24 Angel Hill, Bury St. Edmunds

25 Drawing

26 Spanish steps, Rome

27 Interior of St. Mark's, Venice

28 Covehithe Church

29 Sailing barge in Lake Lothing

30 Derelicts

31 Farm buildings, Gunton

32 Autumn, Gunton Cliff

33 A bit of old Lowestoft


           Artist

F.C.Cook

H.B.Sawyer

H.B.Sawyer

W.C.Sutton

K.G.Elwood

C.W.Walker

Clifford Russell 9

lan Chapman

W.C.Sutton

J.V.Matthew

P.M.Tull

W.Edward Back

F.E.Muddeman

W.C.Sutton

C.W.Walker

Clifford Russell

Peter Lang

B.Fitt

W.F.Greeves

F.C.Cook

W. Edward Back

 F.C.Cook

 K.F.Greeves

John Goddard

 C.Warner

Peter Beare

W.F.Greeves

W.F.Greeves

F.C.Cook

Barry Durrant

W.C.Sutton

F.C.Cook

F.C.Cook



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