Members of Belper’s Art Group are celebrating this year as the historic group marks it’s 40th anniversary.
The group has held meetings for art fans across the town almost every week since 1975 and will be marking it’s achievement with an exhibition event in May.
Now serving more than 20 Belper residents, the group holds meetings every Thursday evening at The Strutt Centre.
“It’s incredible that it has been going on so long, we have got 20 paid up members and we are getting new people all the time,” said group member and club secretary Andy Mayers.
“We have got quite a good programme of events that we have on every week to keep people interested. We do paintings, this week we are doing lino cutting and we also do ceramics, all the things you would expect.”
To celebrate the group’s 40 year milestone, members are putting on an exhibition event in May at the Strutts Centre.
As part of the event, guests will be invited to an evening exhibition on Friday, May 8, where the group’s work will be on show.
The exhibition will then be opened up to all members of the public on Saturday, May 9, with group members on hand to demonstrate art techniques and offer advice to budding artists.
The group hopes that the event, which is to be funded in part by the group, and potentially through grants from Belper Town Council and the Herbert Strutt Charity, will raise the cultural and educational profile of the group and the town.
Anne Devenport, the club’s treasurer and a member for more than eight years, said members will also be hoping to sell some work during the public exhibition.
She added: “I’m very proud of the group celeberating 40 years. May is the arts festival month and the club is actually exhibiting over the first weekend in May at the North Mill.
“The things that will be on show there will be all about Belper
“The group follows a diverse programme of activities organised by the committee in conjunction with members’ own suggestions and contributions.
“These activities are designed to inspire and stimulate the work of the members whilst extending their knowledge and enjoyment of art.”
Anne also pointed out that the historic group still has two of its original members regularly attending the weekly meetings.
The group boasts having members with varying levels of expertise and experience, meaning it can offer advice and help to anyone who wants to join in.
To help fund their celebratory exhibition, the group has applied for a grant of £250 from Belper Town Council to help pay for room hire and refreshments for guests.