This last week, I have been wearing one of my other hats, namely that of Treasurer of the Cambridge Drawing Society.
Throughout the country, the Exhibition season is underway with artists rushing to finish and deliver paintings, and organizers trying to cope with all that involves.
Tuesday was the handing in day for the Cambridge Drawing Society. Wearing my “official” badge, and sitting behind the desk, I was able to observe the scene from a very different perspective. Amidst the sea of wrapping paper and bubble wrap, there were those who nervously handed over their works and fled as quickly as possible. There were those who saw it as a social occasion and wanted to chat with friends and officials, blissfully unawares of the queues building up behind. There were those who had followed all the instructions, filled in correctly the forms and labels, and there were those who had done none of it. There was the sound of snipping scissors and shouts for string and pens all adding to the general atmosphere and tension of “Sending in Day.”
Wednesday was the Selection Day, crunch time for all. It is the second year I have in my official capacity been witness to the procedure where all the paintings are brought before the Selection Committee for their decision. It is wholly democratic, with one man one vote, and everyone, whether they be President, Treasurer or Candidate must abide by the judgement, no matter how wrong or unjust we think it might be . Not for the faint hearted the inevitable rejection artists have to endure!
The Selection Committee at work.
Following over 3 hours of judging , the selected works are laid out ready for hanging. It is a time to see everything that has been accepted and to begin to get the feel of how the exhibition will look.
Time also for a brief lunch break!
In the afternoon, screens are erected and the process of hanging begins. This is an art in itself, balancing subject matter , colours and trying to ensure that every painting is seen to its best advantage, an almost impossible task with over 300 works on display. And there are , of course, good spots and bad spots within any exhibition area, so somebody is bound to be upset by where their work is hung!
The Private View looms. Activity becomes even more frantic as labels and catalogues are organized and food and wine “magically” appear.
The Private View took place yesterday evening and was very well attended.
Tania Verdejo, Andy Mc Kenzie and Karen Stamper.
Rachel Haynes and her pastel paintings.
Lynne Woodhams, a newly elected member.
Mrs. Gavin Clark.
Founded in 1882, the Cambridge Drawing Society is one of the oldest art societies in the country. Former members have included Cecil Beaton, Ronald Searle and Gwen Raverat. Despite its name, the Society encompasses all forms of artwork, from oils to acrylics, watercolour,gouache, pastel, linocut, etching , wood engraving and sculpture.
In this exhibition, I am showing two works.
The first is an oil portrait of Tony Langford, Managing Director of John Smedley Ltd. ( 2003-2009.)
The second, is a charcoal sketch of “Granny Mc Leod” a 94 year old Scottish lady of great character.
The Cambridge Drawing Society Annual Exhibition at the Guildhall runs from 25th April -2nd May and is open daily 10- 5.30