In the frame for award

The Dabble In Art class which is part of the Hartlepool Art Club.
The Dabble In Art class which is part of the Hartlepool Art Club.

AN art club which boasts more than 120 members is hoping to be in the picture for an award.

Hartlepool Art Club is one of the largest in the north and boasts an impressive 66-year history.

It grew from humble beginnings when a small group of artists staged an exhibition in the former gas showrooms in Hartlepool.

It now welcomes a range of people from non-painters and enthusiastic beginners to “experienced amateurs, professionals and teachers,” said club president Margaret Wiles. She added: “We provide a thriving, unique, friendly and non-judgmental environment for artists of all ages both amateur and professional to meet, learn, and exchange knowledge for the greater enhancement of the community.”

And it is not only artistic adults who benefit from the club’s excellent work as dozens of children aged from five to 16 take part in twice monthly sessions called Dabble In Art.

Margaret added: “We pride ourselves in the fact that people new to painting sit side by side with professional artists.”

And on the children’s front, she said: “We aim to encourage and teach children in a fun and accessible environment, with each child benefitting from individual attention from tutors from the membership who offer their time voluntarily.

Hartlepool Art Club meets on the second Wednesday of each month at Hartlepool Art Gallery in Church Square, Hartlepool. People can go along from 7pm to 9pm (doors open 6.30pm).

We Dabble in Art is run at the same venue on the first and third Saturdays in every month from 10am to noon.

But the art club’s excellent work does not end there as it also organises and runs the Stephen Crowther/Walter Parker Awards which recognise and reward aspiring young local pupils in their final year of study to “show evidence of creativity and exceptional talent”. Margaret said: “The awards recognise the inspirational teaching and encouragement of our late President Stephen Crowther and our late Honorary Life President Walter Parker.

“Both were internationally known artists, and they had a profound influence over generations of students at the Hartlepool College of Art and local amateurs.”