Leven Art Society celebrate 50 years during lockdown

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Leven Art Society celebrate 50 years during lockdown

2020 was the year members of Leven Art Society, North Yorkshire were looking forward to celbrating their 50th Anniversary.

Leven at 50small

2020, a year that all the members of Leven Art Society, North Yorkshire were looking forward to: their 50th Anniversary Year! 

They had a programme of activities lined up, including the Spring Exhibition, and a wide range of demonstrations by visiting artists, workshops arranged, with ‘the jewel in the crown’ being a lunch and visit from internationally renowned local artist McKenzie Thorpe.

With best plans laid, the Covid19 virus struck and the latter part of the Society’s spring programme had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

It was hoped that the annual exhibition would take place, even if in a somewhat curtailed version, but this too to be cancelled.  An alternative programme was put together by the undaunted programme secretary which were, of course, subject to further travel and meeting restrictions still to be imposed.

They managed to salvage two of the four proposed ‘plein air’ sessions, in July and August and the 2020/2021 season started reasonably well with a socially distanced and masked AGM, in September, followed by two demonstrations in October from artist James McGairy ( see him in full flow below) and Ian Lightfoot, with a life drawing demonstration and workshop which provided a great opportunity for members to draw from life.

To keep things going following the second lockdown, a Lockdown Gallery 1 was created on the Society’s website which has proved to be very popular.  This was also the source of subjects for the 2021 Calendar, images for which are normally chosen from public votes at the annual exhibition, as members voted for their favourites in the Lockdown Gallery.  The voting also led to the award of the prestigious Sheila Heggs Trophy which was won jointly by Jim Miller and Anthony Cox.

One of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations was the preparation and distribution to Members of a Souvenir Booklet; Leven at 50 – a short history of an art society.  This was created, after much research, by local historian Gordon Hetherington and was circulated at the AGM and then by post to those not attending.

The greatly anticipated visit of McKenzie Thorpe as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations had to be postponed too but the group are optimistic that this can be rearranged for autumn 2021. 

Ever optimitstic the group have retained their booking at Stokesley Town for their Annual Exhibition, scheduled for the Thursday 29th April (7pm Preview evening) and Friday 30th April to Sunday 2nd May inclusive (open to the public from 10am to 6pm each day). 


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