Colchester Art Society

founded in 1946 for the promotion of the visual arts





 selection of members work

The Colchester Art Society is one of the leading and most celebrated societies in the UK.  It currently has over 200 members and was founded in 1946 by a group of artists based in and around Colchester and the Colchester School of Art.  In a period of renewed optimism after the devastation of the war, these young artists shared in the general hope for a brighter future, and formed a society where professional and talented aspiring artists could exhibit together.

Among the earliest members were John Nash, Cedric Morris, Henry Collins, Roderic Barrett, Joyce Pallot, Reg Hazell (Head of School of Art) and Sylvia St. George.  The first exhibition was held in Colchester Castle, showing the work of 37 artists. It was selected by a committee of 5, purely on merit, regardless of whether the artist was professional or amateur, celebrated or unknown.

This "open" policy is still the case. Anyone can submit work, and non-members are always invited to join the society. We have gathered many new and talented members in this way, and the high standards of the society are thus maintained.  There has never been an automatic right to be hung (except for a few distinguished honorary members).

The Colchester Art Society is not an art club so there are not regular meetings except for the annual general meeting.  However at the AGM members can volunteer for the committee which meets several times a year. Today, after more than 60 years, the Colchester Art Society still provides opportunities for exhibition, informal debate and information.  The society now promotes and presents painting, sculpture, works on paper, textiles and ceramics, and it also welcomes other art forms.

Membership of the society is open to all who practice in or have an enthusiasm for the visual arts and provides the following benefits:
  • Opportunity to submit works for exhibition  with reduced submission fees for members
  • Invitation to the private view for each exhibition, giving members opportunity to meet
  • A newsletter published approximately every four months
  • Opportunity to exhibit your artwork on the society's website
  • An annual garden party, usually held in august - a very sociable occasion with members enjoying good food, wine, laughter and discussion
  • 2 - 3 coach trips each year to art galleries, museums, stately homes,and sculpture gardens
  • 2 talks per year by professional artists covering many and varied subjects
  • Opportunity to borrow original works from our nationally acclaimed permanent collection
  • The Colchester Art Society website (www.colchesterartsociety.co.uk) gives details of exhibitions, lectures , other events and a list of officers.
To join the Colchester Art Society and become a member go to our membership page to apply.

The permanent collection of member’s work is one of the most significant private collections in the country, and these unique works are available for members to borrow for a very modest fee, please visit the permanent collection galleries

Support is provided by the collective expertise of the membership on matters such as feedback on work, tips on framing, studio visits, etc.
 Please send any information for the noticeboard via the contact e-mail for Colchester Art Society (colchesterartsociety.mail@googlemail.com)  The Society regrets it is unable to advertise items for sale.