Calling all artists – do you want to join a Stokes Art Group?

An Art Group for The Stokes, South Gloucestershire?

Evening meeting to discuss formation of a local Art Group

Over the past few months, local amateur artist Susan Hartry has been busy calling all Stokes Artists to join her and start an Art Group for the Stokes areas of South Gloucestershire. “Considering the population of Bradley Stoke and surrounding Stokes areas”, Susan says, “I am amazed there is no Art Group to call our own, so I’m trying to start one”.

Susan’s idea for such a local Art Group has been a long time festering; a group with no structured format, bar the odd project as a break from the norm; self-funded; non-tutor lead (so not a class); and not expensive. Quite simply, like-minded people getting together on a regular basis, to paint and talk about art, and learn from one another along the way by sharing tips and techniques.

In her quest, she contacted the editors of Bradley Stoke Matters for help, and an article ‘Calling All Artists’ was published in the summer editions.  The response has been encouraging for her, but preferences for a weekly daytime or evening time slot proved to be split – so she is now trying to set up two groups!

Her next move was to seek a suitable venue, at a suitable cost. Easy?  … No! As Susan explained “I am referring to us as the Stokes Art Group, but we’re not a group at all yet, so no funds in the kitty.” Thus creating for her a ‘chicken and egg’ scenario and major headache – how do you book a venue, twice a week for ten weekly slots when you have no money to pay for it?  She added “Not out of my own pocket, that’s for sure.”

After much leg work, telephone calls, brain storming and plan changing, Susan decided the only way was to get everyone together to outline her vision of a way forward, and to collect subscription monies from everyone wanting to join. That’s the theory. In practical terms it’s a case of hoping people would trust her enough to do just that – to which Susan is unsure and indeed asks – “Why would you?!”

To that end, however, she has booked a small one off evening venue – which she has chanced to pay for out of her own pocket, for now – and to which she has invited those on her list so far to meet with her, discuss her ideas and, for those wanting to take that final step,  pay a £20 subscription to get the Stokes Art Group kick started.

Crossing her fingers, or more appropriately – her paint brushes, she is hoping that the evening will be a success, so has also provisionally booked a venue for two ten week series of Art Group sessions commencing mid-January.

Potentially there are two Groups on offer – Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings at £2 per session.  The stumbling block is that attendance subscriptions are needed from at least 20 Artists to make the two groups viable in a financially self-supporting status, and so to pay for the venue in advance. Basically, if the numbers don’t match the costs, the Art Group won’t happen.

Susan is still ‘Calling All Artists’, so if you live in any of the Stokes and want to belong to a Stokes Art Group, now is the time to contact her.  Space at the venue for the ‘Evening’ is limited, therefore places for the night are offered on a first come basis, however places for the Art Group itself is more flexible, so do get in touch. Once registered, Susan will contact you by reply with more detail and to discuss further.

Stokes Art Group Evening (this is not a workshop)
Tuesday 29 November 2011 at 7.00pm
Christ The King Church, Mautravers Close, Bradley Stoke
Admission – just 50p contribution to help toward the cost
Limited places still available

Register by email to

Footnote: The South Gloucestershire ‘Stokes’ area includes Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke, Stoke Gifford and Stoke Lodge.

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