St Ives Society of Artists is a key player in the town’s vibrant and thriving arts culture. Comprising 70 members, the Society was one of the first organisations to bring the many artists living in or visiting St Ives together to celebrate their talents and creations. The Society holds multiple exhibitions throughout the year, featuring work from resident and guest artists. The Society offers affordable rooms to rent for its members, so that talented local artists have a platform from which to display their work and gain public exposure. One of the highlights in the Society’s calendar is the Member’s Spring Show.
A vital part of the artistic culture of St Ives
Towards the middle of the 18th century, the pilchard industry in St Ives was in decline. This left a landscape full of redundant buildings associated with pilchard fishing, such as sail lofts and boat houses. Located in seclusion and with great sea views, these naturally made perfect artist’s studios.
Once the town became connected by rail, artists had a way of transporting large paintings back to London for exhibitions, so there was nothing stopping them from flocking to St Ives. James Lanham opened the first gallery in 1887, and in 1937 this became home to a fledgling society, founded with the aim of raising the artistic standard and exhibiting works of importance.
Moffat Lindner was an important figure in the St Ives art scene, preventing a major crisis by buying up all the artist’s studios to prevent them from being converted into shops. He offered very favourable rents to the Society, allowing it to continue operating. Lindner became Society President: a role he occupied for 18 years.
Member’s Spring Show
Running from the 14th of February to the 22nd of April, the Member’s Spring Show is a chance for the 70 members of the Society to showcase their work across a range of styles, subjects, and mediums. The members produce work in a variety of styles, from traditional landscape paintings to sculpture and modern art.
As well as exhibiting together, the Society members also have individual exhibitions scheduled throughout the year in the venue’s galleries. Upcoming exhibits from members include July Hicks in June, Jan Phethean in August and Elaine Turnball in September. The Member’s Spring Show is a chance to sample the work of all the members and discover some new favourite artists. Thanks to the number of exhibitions running throughout the year, you’ll easily be able to catch more of the works that caught your eye, and you can return in the summer, autumn, or winter for other seasonal member’s exhibitions.
You can find out more information about the St Ives Society of Artist’s Member’s Spring Show by visiting their website.