Spalding Arts & Crafts Society’s centenary year

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Spalding Arts & Crafts Society’s exhibition from Sunday is a bit more special than usual.

It’s the society’s Centenary Exhibition, and it runs at Ayscoughfee Hall Museum until the end of May.

Members of Spalding Arts & Crafts Society busily at work.

Members of Spalding Arts & Crafts Society busily at work.

The exhibition is due to be opened by society chairman Mo Teeuw on Sunday (2pm) and it is hoped that members will submit 100 paintings in recognition of the 100th anniversary.

Visitors to the exhibition can vote on their favourite work for the People’s Choice Award – the winning picture from 2014, Just Crabbing by Wyn Cocks, appears below.

Publicity secretary Maggie Goodsell says the society was begun as therapy for wounded First World War soldiers recovering in the town’s Johnson Hospital.

She said: “I think it’s probably unusual to have a society that is 100 years old. There are others, but not many. We are quite lucky in that it is still an active society, because there are those that have folded.”

In an age when people can find out how to do anything on the Internet – including paint a picture – around 60 members are still meeting for demonstrations and informal painting sessions.

Maggie said: “The thing with a meeting is you can talk to other people.”

In fact, by popular demand the society has begun monthly untutored painting sessions at Pinchbeck Community Hub, where members can sit and chat or seek advice from other artists on stumbling blocks in their own work.

These are for members only, though the monthly demonstrations are also open to the public – and step by step details of materials and techniques used appear on the society’s website.

Maggie says an appreciation of or interest in art is all that is required to join the society, and members work in all media, from watercolours and oils to acrylics, pencils and even crafts, sewing and pottery.

For instance, Maggie crafts and paints and one of her favourite subjects is flowers. She had a ready source of inspiration for many years as she and husband Mark grew sweet peas on their smallholding at Low Fulney in Spalding. Unusual bulbs collected by Mark are another still life subject for Maggie.