Thursday June 04 2020



Village Art & Literature

Circle of friends

Posted on March 30 2015 at 12:28:12 0 comments

Textile by Margaret Fairhead

Hopwood-based artist Paula Hamilton looks ahead to a spring exhibition.

Hanbury Hall near Droitwich is a fantastic National Trust property that makes for a perfect place for a day’s visit. For me, it is the gardens that are the big event; the intricately-laid-out parterre in particular but also the orchards and vegetable gardens, bowling green and orangery where frost-sensitive plants are stored in the winter.

There are less structured parts of the park too, which take you into the surrounding countryside, and the grand house itself is definitely worth investigating.

Also of interest at Hanbury Hall is the Long Gallery where, during the spring, summer and autumn months, there is a succession of art exhibitions.

So, as well as a great house to look over, and the wonderful gardens and park to explore, there is an art exhibition to visit, followed by coffee and home-made cake in the café. More information at

This spring Birmingham Art Circle have an exhibition at Hanbury Hall’s Long Gallery. This is a group of professional artists who live all around the West Midlands and further afield too.

They have a long-standing association with the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) and for more than a hundred years their major exhibitions have been staged annually at the RBSA Gallery.

Usually two exhibitions a year are held, one at the RBSA and one at another gallery in the Midlands area – in 2015 at Hanbury Hall’s Long Gallery!

Over the years the Art Circle has grown in numbers into a strong and lively society. 

Meeting each month at the RBSA Gallery, the focus is on constructive discussions of members’ current work, with occasional short presentations by members on issues of interest to practising artists.

The Art Circle was founded in 1879 by Ernest Thompson, who appears not to have been an artist. With 10 artists, he drew up the constitution and was elected as the first President.

The constitution stated that the society’s aim was “to promote unity among the Arts, and hold exhibitions when convenient”.

The group’s first Secretary was Walter Langley who, although born in Birmingham, is generally dubbed the pioneer of the Newlyn School, as he was the first of the group to settle in the Cornish village.

Whereas most of his fellow Newlyners concentrated on painting in oils, Langley excelled at watercolour, producing narrative works, particularly of fishermen and their families.

One of the best known is his 1883 For Men Must Work and Women Must Weep owned by Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. 

I should add here that I am a member of Birmingham Art Circle, and have recently taken over as their honorary secretary, but here any parallel between Walter Langley and myself most definitely ends!

Don’t miss Birmingham Art Circle’s Spring Exhibition at Hanbury Hall: Sat March 28 to Sun April 19, 11am–5pm. Learn more about the group at http://www.

Other local news:
* Avoncroft Museum in Bromsgrove has a special event on Sun April 12 – “Avoncroft Calling”, celebrating the museum’s National Telephone Kiosk Collection with a day of activities, demonstrations and exhibits.

The fact that many of the telephone boxes are in working order and visitors can make calls between them is a huge hit with visitors, particularly the younger ones!

If you fancy volunteering at Avoncroft, including dressing up in period costume, get in touch with Julia Morris at
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

* Artrix in Bromsgrove hosts an exhibition by Claire Cooper-Walsh from Weds April 1 to Sun April 26.

Catch this lively textile and mixed media exhibition where the artist produces colourful abstracts – the preview images look stunning. More details at

Please get in touch if you would like me to write about an art event near you. Contact me via The Village or at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Pictured: Textile by Margaret Fairhead 

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