Ashford Art Club held its 40th Anniversary in 2010. I have taken the text from an article written by one of our club founder members Gladys McKerchar that gives details of the early years of our club
The Idea for an Art Club began in the late 1960s when a group of further education art students attending Abbotsford School learnt that their tutor Mr Olleranshaw – nicknamed '0llie' – was to leave this area to bring up his children in the countryside near Bristol. The group had attended the weekly classes for three years, in fact, it was almost a closed shop.
Rather than break up the group, Mrs Edna Matthews, who became the Club President, suggested that they should start their own club, and an advertisement was placed in a Local Paper, asking interested people to come forward. All were surprised when some 20 people attended the first meeting at the Methodist Church Hall, Ashford Art Club was established.
Regular weekly meetings followed at the youth club hall in Kenilworth Road, and the Club grew and prospered. It was at this period that the well known Club's 'Mermaid Motif' was designed by the then Chairman Owen Green.
Open-air exhibition in Sunbury – 1992
Successful Spring and Autumn Exhibitions have been held each year, as having Open Air Exhibitions on Sunbury Green every July.
The Club has staged Exhibitions at various local charity shows by invitation, such as Ashford Hospital open days and Staines Carnivals.
One-man show – Edwin Cripps 2010
Several members over the years have held their own 'One Man' Exhibitions. The Club has some first-rate artists among its membership.
Ashford Art Club members have over the years enjoyed trips to the museums and galleries of London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bruges, etc, whilst professional artists visit the Club regularly to lecture and to give demonstrations.
People interested in the arts are welcome to the club, be they starting, mediocre, or experienced artists.
All make up a friendly Club.