• Zoe Akroyd Parker

CAS 129

Last Tuesday, 21st November, I attended the Private View for the Art Society of the Year 2018- Croydon Art Society! It is the 129th Annual Art Exhibition- amazing to think that they have been in existence and exhibiting for so long! (3 years before Liverpool Football Club kicked their first ball!!)

Here are some images of gorgeous work by my fellow members, there are so many different styles that it is impossible to choose a favourite!

Obviously none of the founder members were exhibiting on Tuesday evening, so I have been scouring the Internet for information on the early members. Here's what I found on the website, Artist Biographies:

Croydon Art Society

Founded in 1878 as The Watteau Society obviously in honour of the famous eponymous French painter Antoine Watteau. By 1881 it had been renamed the Croydon Art Society a name it bears today. Its first recorded President was Irving Montague in 1890. Exhibitions were held locally in the town and craft, photography and needlework work allowed as exhibits and by the turn of the century registered membership was over 100. In the early years of the 20th century invited artists included John Singer Sargent, and Sir Alfred East, the latter becoming a member. Other members and officers included Walter Wallis, William Watkins, Terrick Williams and John Gray. In 1911 Cicely Mary Barker joins the Society at the age of 16 thus becoming the youngest recorded member. World War II saw a drastic fall in membership which by 1946 stood at only 37 having virtually halved in number. The first exhibition after the war was held in Allders Department Store in Croydon attracting over 3000 visitors with Hesketh Hubbard being elected President and by the end of the decade membership had risen to nearly 150. In the late 1980's the Society showed at London's Guildhall Art Gallery and since the millennium exhibitions have taken place at the prestigious Fairfield Halls.

Whilst Fairfield Halls is closed for refurbishment, Exhibitions are taking place at the Exhibition Gallery, Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET.

I was delighted to see that all 3 of the drawings that I submitted were accepted into the exhibition! (You were right, Cousin Hilary! xx) One of the drawings is one of the very first that I created upon my return from Ethiopia. Here they are in situ:

For more information on Croydon Art Society, please see the website and be sure to visit our fabulous exhibition before it closes on December 8th. Treat yourself to some original art for Christmas!

Here's a link to my online shop.

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