Friday, 19 August 2022

Art group moves with the times

A GROUP which promotes and celebrates art has changed its name.

The Henley Decorative and Fine Arts Society will now be known as The Arts Society Henley.

It decided to change its name after last year’s 40th anniversary celebrations to coincide with the rebranding of the national organisation, which is now known as The Arts Society.

Anne Balgarnie, who has chaired the Henley branch for two years, said: “The name didn’t seem to ring a bell with enough people.

“It was felt that it wasn’t recognisable enough and we wanted to bring it into the 21st century.

“We needed to move with the times and, in moving forward, we want to make people more aware of what we do. We focus on a broader spectrum than people might think.”

Mrs Balgarnie, who lives in Wargrave, said the group was a big supporter of young artists and art projects and sponsored the Henley Youth Festival.  

Every year it is invited by Piggott School in Wargrave and The Henley College to view the artwork by their six-form students and select six pieces to be entered into a national competition.

The group, which has almost 700 members, meets on the third Thursday of the month at Phyllis Court Club in Henley as well as organising lectures, study days and trips.

Last April, the Duchess of Gloucester was guest of honour at a celebration of the club’s 40th anniversary, which was attended by more than 100 people.

The Duchess is patron of the national organisation, which has more than 90,000 members across a network of 385 local societies.

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