Blackheath Art Society is a dynamic group of Blue Mountains artists who paint, draw and print in our unique purpose-built Studio. Each week we meet in our different groups to work in the south light-filled space of the Studio.
Some members are professional artists, some are starting out but like many artists, they find working in a community of artists a wonderful way to share knowledge, exchange views, techniques and friendly critique about art practice. Enhancing this learning experience are the tutor-led workshops arranged throughout the year.
Our exhibitions provide an excellent showcase of talent which allow fellow arts practitioners and enthusiasts to see what members and others have been doing, and inspire us to keep developing our own work.
Members are kept informed of Society activities via our quarterly Newsletter and this website. Scroll down for more of our story
– to foster the practice and appreciation of the creative arts
– to bring together artists and art lovers
– to organise, promote and encourage painting, drawing, printing and other group activities the Committee approves such as tuition classes, study groups and exhibitions
– to acquire, establish, equip and maintain premises for conducting the activities above
– to co-operate with any organisation having objects substantially similar to the objects of the Association
(BAS Constitution amended 2006)
IN THE BEGINNING
The BCAG nearly folded in the early 1980s but its revitalisation was begun by two women, Gladys van Eerde and Joyce Coombes, carrying a placard pinned to an easel in the 1986 Rhododendron Festival parade. Irene Coates (pictured) agreed to help re-establish the group provided they worked towards erecting a building where members could PAINT!!
Architect Peter Buckwell designed the building to the group’s specifications – a spacious, properly equipped painters’ studio with the all-important south light, and including a kitchen, bathroom, storage, library and office.
Members’ Easter exhibitions and Yulefest exhibitions were variously held at the Heritage Centre Blackheath (now NPWS), the Gardiners Inn Hotel, the Victoria and Albert Guest House at Mt Victoria but at last, in 1992, the studio was completed and the first Annual Members Easter Exhibition was held on our own premises.
FROM THEN TILL NOW
The Society continues to be solely responsible for providing the funds for its operating and capital costs, such funds coming from membership, studio, exhibition and workshop fees as well as members’ donations. The Society is a registered charity for funds donated for the purpose of building improvement and maintenance. In 1997 the AGM voted to change the name from the Blackheath Community Arts Groups (BCAG) to the Blackheath Art Society (BAS).
Bringing to life the major entitlement of membership, the first weekly studio group was formed – the Tuesday Watercolour Group, followed in 1996 by the Wednesday evening Oil/Acrylic Group. The latter was eventually disbanded – Blackheath winter being the main reason ! – but was replaced by the Thursday PostFauves (now the Contemporary Oil/Acrylic Group) in the same year. Monday’s Life Drawing Group followed a few years later as well as Open Studio on Wednesday and Friday where members paint using their preferred medium. In 2008 The Printers on Sunday group was formed after the transformation of the “library” into a fully equipped print room. In 2016 a new Clay Art group was formed meeting on Wednesday afternoons at 3pm.
An annual exhibition of members’ work had been held every Easter since 1989 but in 1998 BAS introduced another annual exhibition dedicated to contemporary work, the Open Contempo Exhibition on the October long weekend. Shortly thereafter, the annual Open Watercolour and Works on Paper was introduced on the June long weekend. The latter two exhibitions, whilst very successful, by definition excluded many members from participating fully in the exhibitions program and it was decided to open these exhibitions to all forms of painting and drawing in 2005, but leaving the Easter exhibition exclusive to members. (See Exhibitions page)
An ongoing program of workshops is held every year in which artists learn new skills or hone old ones. Led by expert tutors in their fields these workshops constitute an exciting, stimulating aspect of the Society’s year.
For further details on all activities go to the homepage to select items Of interest or go to the Calendar page to see upcoming events.