Telegraph Column: Why Sheffield’s Hallam Art Group is such a success

Hallam Art Group member Mike Green at work
Hallam Art Group member Mike Green at work

When Caroline Egglestone heard she had sold three pictures during one morning at Hallam Art Group’s exhibition last year she was delighted – and intrigued to hear they were all bought by one person.

Caroline was further amazed to find that they were all bought by her neighbour, Liudmila Holt. Her surprise was matched by Liudmila’s. She hadn’t noticed the name of the artist until later - and didn’t even know her friendly neighbour was a painter!

Liudmila loved the vibrant colours and found the semi abstract style appealing - a view obviously shared by many because Caroline’s work is among the most sought after at Hallam Art Group’s popular exhibitions.

The art group, which is based at Hallam Community Hall, next door to Hallam Primary, appeals to a range of people, from professionals to those who simply love art and paint for a hobby. At the weekly meetings they draw and paint together, pick up new ideas, and discuss problems or listen to talks and demonstrations from leading artists. They make visits to national and regional exhibitions and craft shows and share holidays.

The group was founded more than 40 years ago by the late Eric Gregory and by Isabel Blincow, who remains a prominent member and is a highly acclaimed, extremely popular artist and teacher. The group has recently expanded the number of members it can take from 70 to 75 due to demand for places.

Three exhibitions are held each year - two in spring and autumn at the community hall, and one in August at Sheffield Botanical Gardens. One of the attractions is the range of subjects and styles of the work displayed.

Mike Green, a leading artist in the group and prizewinning landscape artist whose work in oils has been exhibited in various galleries, both locally and in London, is particularly inspired by the countryside, while for Michelle Ghosh attending the group is a wonderful escape from the pressures of balancing being a mum and working as a senior administrator at Sheffield Hallam University.

This year the spring exhibition and sale is timed to coincide with Sheffield’s Open Up event - www.openupsheffield.co.uk - on May 2, 3 and 4, when artists across Sheffield open studios to the public. Hallam Art Group is offering refreshments, including homemade cakes.

The exhibition runs from 10am to 5pm each day at the community hall. Visit www.hallamartgroup.wordpress.com for more information.