Arts society is launched

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Potters, wood turners, painters and card-makers have thrown their weight behind an organisation designed to promote creative talent in a north Derbyshire town.

The official launch of the Dronfield and District Creative Arts Society, in the Peel Centre, attracted more than 100 supporters, including town mayor Cllr Doug Oxspring.

Joe Scarborough, the renowned Sheffield artist, was the guest speaker, telling the 100-strong audience at the Peel Centre: “When you get into this business, it is a 365 day job but it is magic. It is pretty hard work and you have got to believe in yourself so much. The business is 90 per cent commerce, nine per cent art and one per cent ego.”

Addressing the artists among the gathering, Joe held up a picture and said: “This is going to last 300 years. Whatever you do now is going to last far longer than us. It is part of your legacy and the people coming next.”

Ian Ward, chairman of the society, outlined the committee’s aims. He said: “One of the very big things is that we would like to work with the young of Dronfield and encourage the young people – that is the future. Let’s get them in at ten or even 15 years old.

“We have got in our mind’s eye that we could hold a Dronfield Arts Festival. If Wirksworth can do it surely Dronfield can do it. We are looking for ideas to take this forward.”

Commenting on the 40th anniversary of Dronfield’s twinning with Sindelfingen, in Germany, Mr Ward said: “For the first time an exhibition of Dronfield art has been held in Sindelfingen. We would now like to do the same over here as a community and to host an exhibition of German artists in Dronfield.”

Mr Ward added: “There have been suggestions from some people to form a singing group for pleasure. We have professional choirs in Dronfield. A Lot of people would like to be singing and are not able to read music to grade 6 or don’t want to audition and be able to reach top C.”

“We don’t want to be just visual arts, we would like to encourage all other arts, poetry, music, literature.

“We would also like to organise a range of craft workshops where we have professional artists, amateur artists and crafts people of different disciplnes.

Other projects for the future included running arts and craft workshops, with professional tutors, running trips to galleries and publishing a newsletter.

More than a dozen crafts people and artists, who will benefit from the society’s aims, exhibited their wares at the launch night.

Linda Brennan, a tutor at the Jolly Crafters group which meets at Dronfield Baptist Church, said: “It is absolutely imperative that we have a society like this. Everyone has a creative side, whether it be doing fine arts or making cards.”

The Jolly Crafters have created around 700 cards in the past ten months to be sent out to forces personnel in Afghanistan. Linda’s husband Don said: “We don’t support war – we are supporting people out there who are doing a job.” Linda added: “We are helping them send cards home to their family and friends – it’s not as though they have a WH Smith down the road in Afghanistan where they can buy them.”

Maureen Greenland exhibited pottery which she creates in her studio in Holmesfield. She said: “I like to be creative - it is both uplifting and satisfying.” Her creations included bowls, jugs, vases and mugs.