Features

The Art of Essex

Thaxted-300July-Thaxted by John Tookey

‘This is Essex’ is the theme for an Essex Art Club competition, which will be judged at the group’s annual exhibition at Wanstead House this November. Mary Springham invites artists to join the historic club and enter. Image July-Thaxted by John Tookey

Essex is the theme for our special competition for members of Essex Art Club. The prize is £120 for a picture of 120 square inches, to celebrate the 120th year of the club.

We are pleased to announce the submitted works – which will be displayed at our November exhibition at Wanstead House – will be judged by Professor Ken Howard OBE, who was our club president for many years and is now our patron.

Essex Art Club has been encouraging artists and holding exhibitions since 1899, and the post of president has been held by Royal Academicians, such as Sir Alfred Munnings and Professor Howard. Sir Frank Brangwyn and Walter Spradbery were vice-presidents, as was John Nash, brother of the more famous Paul Nash. Our current president is John M Tookey, a member of the Pastel Society.

An annual exhibition has been held at Guildhall in the City of London many times and one Winston Churchill MP contributed a painting in 1950. The club did abandon the annual exhibition in 1916 due to “exceptional circumstances”.

Walter Spradbery played a significant role in the development of the William Morris Gallery as a memorial to the aspirations, achievements and fellowship of William Morris. Sir Frank Brangwyn presented a substantial gift to Walthamstow in the form of paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture, including pieces by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Brangwyn’s own work included large murals depicting the British Empire, which are still held in the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea.

Ken Howard says painting should be about “celebration, communication and revelation“, and with that in mind, we offer members a varied programme of demonstrations, talks, painting sessions, three exhibitions a year and a regular newsletter. We welcome new members.

The deadline for entry to the Essex-themed competition is 30 September. For more information about Essex Art Club and the competition, call 020 8504 0584 or visit essexartclub.co.uk 
Author profile
Mary Springham