Winchester Art Club: Getting to know the club

The team are currently preparing to open the annual Winchester Art Club exhibition, which this year will take place in the Performance Hall at Winchester Discovery Centre. In the run up to opening on Thursday 11 November, the club's treasurer Simon Churchill shares with us a little more about the club and what makes it so special.

"Winchester Art Club (WAC) was founded in 1919, after absorbing Winchester Fine Arts Society which had existed since 1888. The aim of the club is to encourage the practice of Fine Arts in Winchester, particularly among those who paint as a hobby. Winchester Art Club has a very welcoming policy to all art-lovers based in Winchester. No qualifications are needed to join and the members range from complete beginners to experienced artists, and a number of semi-professional and professional artists."

Q: How did you become involved with WAC and what does it mean to you?

I joined in 2000 and have served as Treasurer since 2010. The club means a lot to me and is excellent way to exhibit my work, learn more about art and meet other local artists.

Simon Churchill, Cumbria, Watercolour on paper

Q: Why would you say art clubs are important?

I believe art clubs are important for artists of all abilities to meet other artists and see their work, and learn more about art. Art has been particularly therapeutic for many people during the pandemic.

Tricia Spink, Bearded Tit, Watercolour on paper. Tricia is the Club’s Hon Secretary.

Q: What are the biggest challenges that art clubs face?

The biggest challenge most art clubs face is an increasingly ageing membership and a scarcity of younger members joining their clubs.

Sheila Bushnell, Pink orchids, Mixed media. Sheila is the Club’s Hon Exhibition Secretary

Q: What would you say is WAC´s biggest contribution to both Winchester as a community and towards the study of the Arts?

The club’s biggest contribution to Winchester as a community is its charitable support of The Magic Wand Appeal and Winchester Hospice at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, and Naomi House Children’s Hospice, and over the past three years this has averaged over £1,350 per annum.

Q: Could you tell us a bit more about what makes WAC fundamental to the democratisation of the arts?

The club is open to artists of all abilities and, although submission to our annual exhibition is judged, submission to our two Hospital Exhibitions are not, which ensures all members have the opportunity to exhibit. Hampshire Cultural Trust has recently become more involved with our annual exhibition and the club is very appreciative of the support we are receiving.

The Winchester Art Club Annual Exhibition 2021 at City Space (temporarily located at the Performance Hall), Winchester Discovery Centre opens on 11 November and closes 15 December. Admission is free and there’s no need to pre-book your visit.

The artwork made by Winchester Art Club members, including painting, printmaking, sculpture, woodcarving and textiles, will be available on sale on at the venue. The Performance Hall is accessible through the centre café.

To find out more on how to become a member of the Winchester Art Club, as well as the exciting programme of activities they conduct yearly, please visit their webpage:

Follow City Space and The Gallery on Instagram.

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Hampshire Cultural Trust

From museums to galleries to arts centres, we manage and support attractions across the county, welcoming over 740,000 people each year. Our charitable purpose is changing lives through culture.
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