Formed in 1978, the Royston Arts Society is a thriving group of more than 100 local people, all of whom share the same interest: painting and the visual arts.
Members of the Society pay an annual fee and for this are entitled to enter the two annual exhibitions, attend all the practical meetings and demonstrations and display work in the library free of any additional charge (apart from a hanging fee for the Members’ Exhibition).
We are a very friendly group who are always happy to welcome and encourage new members and visitors who wish to develop their painting skills. A gallery of paintings by members of the Society is available on our website www.roystonarts.org.uk/?page_id=25
For more information please email:- [email protected]
We hold informal practical painting sessions on the first and third Tuesdays of most months, between 2.00 and 4.00pm in Market Hill Rooms, Fish Hill, Royston, excepting for August and the third Tuesday in December. Non-members are very welcome to attend, for a fee of £3 per session.
We hold a monthly demonstration featuring professional artists working with a variety of media and subjects. The demo’s take place between 8.00pm and 10.00pm in Market Hill Rooms, Fish Hill, Royston, on the second Friday of each month except August, September, and December. A list of the current year’s programme of demonstrations is available on the RAS website www.roystonarts.org.uk/?page_id=43 Non-members are very welcome to attend, for a fee of £3 per session.
We hold an annual open exhibition towards the end of September. It takes place in Royston Town Hall and is an important part of the annual Royston Arts Festival. There is also a Members’ Exhibition which we hold earlier in the year in Royston Museum and Art Gallery. More information about our exhibitions is available on the RAS website www.roystonarts.org.uk/?page_id=14
Royston Arts Society has an on-going display of members’ paintings in the Royston Library. This is refreshed on the first Monday of each month (or the first Tuesday if the Monday is a Bank Holiday).
Borrowing Books and DVDs
Royston Arts Society owns a collection of art-related books and DVDs. The collection is stored at Market Hill Rooms where items can be borrowed at no charge by RAS members who attend the painting sessions or demonstrations.
Annual General Meeting
Royston Arts Society is run by and exists for its members. The day to day management is carried out by a Committee elected by the Membership. The Annual General Meeting is held in Market Hill Rooms on the second Friday of December between 7.30 and 10.00 pm. This provides the members with an opportunity to participate in the running of the Society. The AGM is followed by a social event.
HISTORY OF ROYSTON ARTS SOCIETY
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
On retiring from a career in the Post Office, and moving to Royston in 1978 Edwin (Gary) Grimaldi was horrified to find that there was nothing going on in the art scene here. Having had experience in setting up art exhibitions for the GPO in Britain and Europe, Gary advertised for like minded people, with a view to encouraging aspiring artists in the town. Sylvia Jordan and Harold Perrett were the only ones to respond initially, but they soon gathered a small group together and Mrs Jordan offered her home as a venue for classes. The Society became official in 1979, with the grand total of 24 members. The following year the group had grown to 52 members, and the first Exhibition was held, showing 300 paintings. The Preview was attended by 60 invited guests and opened by Mayor Mrs Pat Rule.
Norman Taylor joined the Society soon after its formation, and Gary and Norman became the leading lights. They undertook the huge job of making our exhibition screens themselves. Gary and Norman, ably assisted by their equally talented wives Joyce and Lilian, built up the Society and steered it through the early years to its present popularity and eminence in the town. As many past members will know, their relationship was not always harmonious, but we have both Gary and Norman to thank for laying the foundations of the Society we have today.
THE END OF AN ERA
The death of Norman Taylor in 1997, and our President and Founder Edwin (Gary) Grimaldi in 2001 brought to an end the first episode in the history of the Royston Arts Society.
In 2003 we celebrated 25 years with a trip to Winsor and Newton, and Harrow School, and a 25th Anniversary Dinner at the Old Bull Inn, Royston
1996 AFTERNOON SESSIONS COMMENCE
Evening painting sessions became less well attended, and it was decided to change to afternoon sessions on Tuesdays. This proved to be a huge success, and by 2008 numbers attending had grown so large that in spite of using the Committee Room and Room 11, we were cramped for space. The Market Hill Rooms had just been refurbished, and proved to be just what we needed. A spacious and well-lit hall, and a large kitchen which also gives us room for a good sized store cupboard.
Since 2014 the Annual General meeting and the Demonstrations have also been held in the Market Hill Rooms. There on the second Friday evening of most months members continue to enjoy demonstrations by a variety of artists in various media.
THE ANNUAL EXHIBITION GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
The outdoor exhibition which used to be held in Church Lane was eventually abandoned after several years of bad weather. However, the Annual Autumn Exhibition, held since the second year of the formation of the Society, has evolved into a prestigious event in the Royston calendar. It now takes place in Royston Town Hall, exhibiting paintings by both members and non-members, and is a key event in Royston Arts Festival. The Society also holds an annual Members? Exhibition in Royston Museum and Art Gallery, where works by RAS members are displayed.