28 October 2018Mary Utton newsletter October 2018

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Mary Utton newsletter October 2018
Sunday 28 October 2018






Chair’s Newsletter

October 2018



Dear Members

Welcome to your first newsletter from the new Chair.

 I am delighted that I have been appointed into this position and will do my very best to support you all and the work of Liskeard Arts.  The outgoing Chair, Hugh Parker, will be a hard act to follow.  He has led our Society exceptionally well during his time in post and has worked hard on our behalf to build Liskeard Arts into such a successful Arts Society for which we thank him.

I found out about The Arts Society from a friend who lives in Twyford.  She had become a member of her local group, was thoroughly enjoying what was on offer and suggested I might also be interested in going along to my nearest meeting.  You can appreciate my surprise when I discovered that Liskeard has its own Arts Society and therefore something I didn’t have to travel very far to benefit from!  I was able to attend whilst still working as we have evening meetings.  We shouldn’t forget how lucky we are to have our own society offering such quality talks on our doorstep.  Whilst still at work there were times I had to make myself turn out for a talk after a long day but I have never yet been to one where I haven’t come away having learnt something.  The conversation before and after a talk with like-minded people is always stimulating.


If I’m honest I hadn’t expected to become your Chair quite so quickly!  I haven’t been a member that long and had only sat on the committee for a year.  However Hugh is very persuasive!  I have lived in Liskeard since 1991 and, having retired at the end of March 2018 from being the Headteacher of Plymouth High School for Girls, now at least have time to give to the Society and to my role as Chair.  My degree is in Ancient History and Archaeology from Manchester University and my teaching career has been as a history teacher.  There are very close links between history, archaeology and the arts, each complementing the others.

I would like Liskeard Arts to grow its reputation for being one of, if not the friendliest Arts Society in the South West and then across the country; to be one where people of all ages and backgrounds do want to join us; where everyone is always made to feel welcome; where members talk to each other and for us all to enjoy the social aspects of coming together to share our curiosity and interest in human artistic achievement in the world about us.

However I believe that the purpose of an Arts Society should go beyond being somewhere where we just go to increase our knowledge and appreciation about the arts through hearing the expert speakers who are invited to speak to us.  It’s also important that we promote the preservation of artistic heritage.  The work of our volunteers through Church Recording and Heritage projects helps to further this goal and at a Chairs’ Forum meeting I attended recently, Pat Francis who leads Church Recording and David Kilborn our lead for Heritage Volunteers were both complimented for the outstanding work they do.  They are both supported by a team of volunteers eager to build their skills.  I would also like another of our goals to be about encouraging and celebrating the work of local creative artists; young artists within our local schools, members who are themselves artists or those in the community who aren’t as yet members of our Society.

It is important to pay tribute to our many volunteers without whose efforts we couldn’t run our society.  I would therefore like to thank you for all you do whether in church recording, heritage volunteering, making and serving refreshments before a meeting, greeting and meeting our members and guests, collecting our speaker from the station and looking after them, hosting a speaker or taking up a position on the committee; whatever you do as a volunteer, your contribution is necessary for the smooth running of Liskeard Arts.  If there are other members who haven’t as yet volunteered to help even if it’s to join the rota to help with refreshments at a meeting and are willing to do so, I would be grateful if you could speak to a member of the committee.


Liskeard Arts news

 The November talk will be on Tuesday 13th November starting at 7.35pm (announcements at 7.30pm).  Refreshments (tea, coffee, wine) served from 7.00pm.

Gail Turner’s talk is entitled:

The Spanish Portrait – from el Greco to Picasso

Gail gives an overview from the late Middle Ages to the 20th Century, ranging widely from the court portraits of El Greco, Velazquez and Goya to glittering modern giants such as Miro, Dali and Picasso.  Gail assesses their similarities and differences.

Please look out for Clem Vallance’s November newsletter which will give further insight into the speaker and her subject.  A big thank you to Clem as our Programme Secretary who has yet again put together an excellent, stimulating and varied programme for the year.  Both Peter Medhurst and Val Woodgate’s talks were of the high quality and interest we have come to expect and I am confident that Gail Turner’s talk will be of a similarly high standard.

On Wednesday 14th November we have our first Discovery Day of the year with a 9.30 for 10.00am start at the Public Hall in West Street, Liskeard.  Gail Turner will be exploring:

The Sword and the Staff – the Pilgrim Route to Santiago de Compostela

Details of how to book can be found on our website under the tab Discovery Days.  I look forward to joining many of you for the day and thank Caroline Petherick for her work in organising the day.


The Arts Society South West Area news

Don’t forget to have a look at the SW area website,  You will find there details of and application forms for area events, visits and courses by clicking on the Special Interest Days tab or the News/Courses tab.  The Documents tab also has useful information such as the itineraries and details for SW Area tours.

For a very brief overview of what’s coming up see below.  Do look on the website for full details.

Study Day: The Art and Architecture of Ireland

Tom Duncan 1/11/2018, Best Western Hotel, Tiverton

Study Day: Visions of Enchanted Lands – Chinoiserie in European Art

Anne Haworth, 4/4/2019, Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre

Tour: Northern Ireland

Tom Duncan  23/6/2019 – 28/6/2019  See itinerary

History of Arts Course: Exeter

1.    Prehistoric Cave Art

2.    Fifty shades of …….. red

3.    From Mesopotamia to Egypt

4.    Fifty shades of …….. black

5.    The birth of beauty – ancient Greek art

Dr Geri Parlby and Dr Jeni Fraser






Exeter Library

History of Arts Course: Taunton

1.    Saints, angels, gargoyles & green men

2.    Fifty shades of ………… blue

3.    History of art photography

4.    The British as art collectors

5.    What exactly is Celtic art?

Dr Geri Parlby and Dr Jeni Fraser






Castle House, Museum of Somerset

History of Arts Course: Plymouth

1.    Early art of propaganda and political satire

2.    Fifty shades of ………. red

3.    Egyptian revivalism, 19th and 20th cents.

4.    A feminine hand

5.    Medicine in art throughout the ages

Dr Geri Parlby and Dr Jeni Fraser






The Atheneum

History of Arts Course: Sidmouth Year 1

Part 1 Arts Foundation Course

1.    A visual analysis primer

2.    God, goddesses and heroes – how to recognise them in art

3.    Scotland the brave – Scottish art

4.    Windows to heaven – history of stained glass

5.    Angels, saints and virgins

Dr Geri Parlby and Dr Jeni Fraser







Sidmouth Rugby Club

I am excited about what we can achieve together.  I look forward to getting to know you and would like to encourage you to share any ideas you may have on how we can improve Liskeard Arts for everyone.  Do remember that we also encourage guests to come along to find out about us.

We look forward to welcoming you to our November meeting.

Best wishes

Mary Utton

Chair of Liskeard Arts