Malcolm Bull's Calderdale Companion : Foldout

The Brighouse Art Circle

This Foldout looks at The Brighouse Art Circle


The Brighouse Art Circle

Brighouse Art Circle was founded in June 1949 by a group of mainly professional Brighouse artists, several of whom worked in the studios of A. H. Leach & Company.

Founder members included

Others members have included

Membership was originally limited to 30 members who met regularly in the newly opened Waring Green Community Centre. There were no subscriptions at the outset, merely an arrangement whereby members simply had a whip round amongst themselves when any funds were required. Finally, when this ad hoc arrangement was no longer appropriate, formal subscriptions were introduced and 2/6d per annum was levied from each member.

In the early years weekly meetings were mainly of a practical nature. Painting evenings, life drawing and still life formed the greater part of the Art Circle's activities. Alwyne Gower has been a member and associated with the Art Circle since the late 1950s when she posed as a model.

Exhibitions were held once annually from the beginning, with the exception of 1950 when two were held. The Smith Art Gallery hosted the exhibitions on each occasion. The official opening of these exhibitions became quite an event and the Gallery would be packed with people coming to see and hear the celebrities invited to perform their official opening duties. Among them were

The exhibitions display a high standard of competence and the Art Circle attracted many admirers from surrounding art clubs.

From the mid 1950s, it became more common to invite visiting artists to meetings to demonstrate their own particular styles and techniques.

It is interesting to recall that, in December 1965, Ashley Jackson gave members a demonstration, not of painting but of the art of glass gilding. Ashley was at that time virtually unknown and only at the very beginning of his career as a watercolour painter. He always claims to have a great affection for Brighouse, for it was Stanley Chapman who first introduced him to watercolours and took him on to the moors above Nont Sarah's and explained the intricacies of the medium. It was also the Smith Art Gallery that offered Ashley Jackson his first one man exhibition.

After 60 years the Art Circle has grown into a flourishing society for amateur painters from beginners onwards and is still based at Waring Green Community Centre every Thursday evening

The Current Programme


Brighouse Art Circle meets every Thursday evening at 7:30 pm at

Waring Green Community Centre, Brighouse
and welcomes new members of all abilities

It is a friendly society with a varied programme

The programme includes

During the summer months there are also Tuesday afternoon outdoor meetings

New members of any age or ability will be warmly welcomed at any time of the year

Contact Details

For details about the Art Circle or the Programme

© Malcolm Bull 2017 / [email protected]
Revised 11:01 on 18th December 2017 / kk_217 / 14