LAST year Sedbergh Art Society welcomed more than 1,200 visitors through the doors of its annual showcase at Sedbergh School Library. For 2019, members are hoping to top that figure with, once again, a great selection of work in varying media and styles,

on show once more at the school's library, from Wednesday, August 22 until Monday, August 26.

The society has 46 members and has been going for nigh on 50 years, founded by the highly regarded artist, Harry Bracken.

Many members are recognised locally for their work, which has been displayed in Youdell’s Art Shop in Kendal, Sedbergh Art Gallery, and further afield. The society also has a strong connection with Farfield Mill; many members took part in a Landscape Painting Competition in July, organised by society members Ruth Clayton and Stuart Gray, whose Wickerfish studio is located at Farfield.

Stuart has been an illustrator and graphic designer since leaving college in the early 1970s. He has worked in several studios before becoming a lecturer at Wigan School for the Arts in 1994.

He retired from being a lecturer a few years ago and started to work with his partner Ruth Clayton in the successful Wickerfish Art Studio at Cedar Farm Galleries in Mawdesley, Lancashire, teaching adults the basics of drawing and painting. They relocated to Sedbergh in 2016. He now works at Farfield Mill in Sedbergh with Ruth, where they have a studio. Stuart works with different media but his specialism is acrylic and watercolour. He enjoys painting landscapes and still life and he has filled a fair number of sketchbooks over the years.

Society president Ruth Gamsby says she's always drawn and painted: "I was a teacher of embroidery to City and Guilds level for a number of years. Since retiring I have enjoyed painting as a hobby and my range of work is from watercolour flowers to acrylic and pastel landscapes and abstract work. I'm proud to have been the president of the SAS for three years. We pride ourselves on being an enthusiastic and friendly society and enjoy attracting new members.”

Also within the society's talented ranks is Gillian Impey; Gillian's chairman of Kendal Art Society as well as joint events secretary with Jenifer Alison for SAS. She has drawn and painted most of her life. Her retirement from nursing has allowed her to devote much of her time to painting seriously and developing her skills. Gillian paints and draws in most media and loves to attend workshops in order to try out different techniques. She paints beautiful landscapes and flowers, but is passionate about portrait painting in pastel or acrylic. Her paintings for this exhibition are mainly local landscapes in the Sedbergh and Kendal area.

Sedbergh School Library is situated next to Loftus Hill Car Park.

The exhibition will be opened on preview night (August 21) by Dennis Whicker, who produced and edited the Sedbergh Lookaround for 30 years.

The exhibition is open 10am-5pm.

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