Friday, August 24, 2012

The Hesketh Hubbard Art Society - Annual Show

The Hesketh Hubbard Art Society is based in the Mall Galleries and this week it's been exhibiting its annual show.

See Hesketh Hubbard Setting Up (March 2011)
16.5 x 11", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
About the Hesketh Hubbard Society
The Hesketh Hubbard Art Society offers both amateur and professional artists the opportunity to work from live models in untutored sessions. Membership is £215 a year, for which there are 48 drawing sessions and no cover charge. Prospective members are invited to attend one session free before deciding if they wish to apply for membership.Read more about the Hesketh Hubbard Society
Its key features are:
  • founded in 1930 by the Royal Society of British Artists as a drawing club
  • has about 150 members and is London's largest life drawing club
  • provides opportunities for life drawing from live models in untutored sessions
  • weekly session at Mall Galleries - on Monday or Friday
  • four models available: three ‘life’ providing 15 minute poses, 30 minute poses or a ‘long’ 2 hour pose and one clothed portrait.
  • annual fee: £215 a year, for which there are 48 drawing sessions and no cover charge.
  • no juried entry
The thing which deters me from joining this society is the fee which is steep if you don't go every week.

An alternative option are the various places which provide drop-in life drawing sessions for free (eg  Princes Drawing School - first Thursday of the month) or sessions which can be booked and paid for on a more ad hoc basis (eg at museums and art galleries) or on at least a termly basis (art schools).

Annual Exhibition

The Annual Exhibition can be found in the North Gallery.

This is not a Society which has juried entry for either the Society or its annual exhibition.   Artwork on display is by participating members and from what I can see this is not an open exhibition and hence there is no work by non-members.  Due to this way of operating, I found it unsurprising that the works on display reminded me very much of an ordinary art society.  The calibre of work on show is very definitely NOT the same calibre as artwork seen in exhibitions by the other FBA art societies based at the Mall Galleries.

However what did surprise me a lot was that very little of the artwork in the exhibition appeared to be life drawings or paintings done in one of the untutored live sessions of the Society.  Whenever I've seen an exhibition by a Life Drawing Club before it's always been of work done in one of the sessions.

I may of course have got this entirely wrong as I've never attended one of the sessions and hence have not seen the quality of the work produced.  However I have regularly attended life drawing classes over the years and am very familiar with the type and calibre of the work produced in such sessions.

I would have really enjoyed seeing more 'live' life drawings - it was certainly one of the reasons I visited - and I wish there were more.

What would have been good is if all exhibits were clearly marked as to whether they were live session work or studio work.


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