SAA : All About Art 09
In its first ever year, the SAA’s very own event ‘It’s all about Art’, held at the Business Design Centre in Islington on the 23rd-25th July 2009, certainly lived up to its name…but proved to be a lot about fun as well! Right from the outset, the SAA’s aim was to create an event all about learning and enjoying painting and to give all who came to the show the opportunity to learn from top professional artists, many of whom are proven favourites from The Painting and Drawing Channel and the members’ newsletter Paint.
Alongside this we wanted to provide access to a vast array of art materials from the SAA Home Shop Catalogue. We felt it would give our members the opportunity to meet fellow members and the chance to share their passion with their friends and family.
At 9.15am on the first day, eager artists started flooding in through the doors and by mid morning coaches were queuing up to drop off enthusiastic SAA members.
Although we knew many of you were planning to come along, we were overwhelmed by the number who actually attended on the Thursday, and by lunchtime it was hard to fight your way through the crowds.
It was so exciting to see so many budding artists all under one roof and to witness so many professionals teaching so many students so many things!
Among those arriving en masse were art groups whose members had come to the event from all over the country, and it was fantastic to meet so many enthusiastic and dedicated artists. John Kendall attended the first day of the show with fellow club members from the Dunstable & District Art Club. With more than 3,000 people through the doors on that Thursday, things were extremely busy but the group managed to get into most of the workshops and demonstrations with the artists they’d specifically come to see. “Between us I think we saw just about everybody,” said John. “And although the workshops were busy, the microphones and screens at the demonstrations mean you didn’t have a problem hearing what the artists were telling you.”
Kathe Holt from Broadstone Art Society, organised a coach up to London for members of her group and friends from nearby Ferndown Art Society, both based in Dorset. More than 50 members of the two clubs were at the first day of the show, and they came to meet their favourite
Sandra Martin, a PA from Rainham in Kent, came to the show on Saturday with some of the students who attend her weekly art classes and workshops. “Twelve of us came up by coach this morning and we’ve had a great time,” she said. “It’s all about getting involved and learning, so we’ve packed in as much as we can. We’ve done workshops with Marilyn Allis and Vic Bearcroft, which were great, and Mitch Waite’s demonstration of
Atelier Interactive Acrylics was fantastic. He’s so talented and it’s incredible to watch him at work. He’s creating a picture over two demonstration sessions, so we’ve seen the first half and will go back to watch him do the second later this afternoon.” The group has recently been using Inktense pencils during their own sessions, so were keen to take part in Fiona Peart’s workshop and see what tips they could pick up from her. “We learnt some new techniques and really enjoyed it,” said Sandra. “The only problem is that now we’ve all done the workshop together, my students will be telling me what to do when we’re next back in a class!”
RSC Kathy Kempster came to the show with a group of her students from the Kestrel Art Club in Basingstoke. “We’ve had a fantastic time, and it’s been easy to find our way round because it’s so well organised,” she said. “We brought two new members with us today and they’re going home feeling inspired and keen to get painting.”
The group’s treasurer,
Marilyn Alldred, thought the day out was good value for money.
“The entry tickets weren’t expensive, and once we were inside all the workshops and demonstrations were free,” she says. “We’ve packed a lot into the day so we’ll go away feeling it’s been worth every penny.”
The talented artists who ran workshops and demonstrations at ‘It’s all about Art’ also enjoyed meeting so many SAA members. “It was hard work,” says Marilyn Allis. “But the whole event was very successful and there was a lovely atmosphere.”
Roy Lang agrees. “It was challenging doing seven demonstrations every day,” he says. “Although we were all exhausted, it helped to be in the company of so many people
who have an appreciation of art. Working with everyone from the SAA is always a privilege.” One of the highlights of the Saturday was the Artist of the Year Awards 2009, when SAA Chairman John Hope-Hawkins discussed this year’s winning entries and congratulated the artists. Virtually all the winners were there to accept their prizes, and, like everyone else, they were able to take advantage of what was going on at the show; after accepting his award, this year’s Artist of the Year, Hashim Akib, went to sit in on a demonstration by Mitch Waite.
We are already receiving some great feedback from many of you both on things that went well and areas where we can improve should we hold this event next year. We thank you all for bearing with us when the queues at the tills on the first day exceeded all expectations, and on the occasions when product was not easily found. Your constructive comments will be taken on board.
We would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all who came to support this event and of course to the artists and staff who worked tirelessly throughout the show to make it such a success. As for holding this event next year…well ‘Watch this Space’!!
See below for highlights and artist interviews from the 2009 event, to give you just a taster of what’s to come this July at this truly interactive art event!
‘It’s all about Art 2009’ artist interviews
How to book tickets:
SAA members click here to book advance tickets at £5.00
/ £6.00 on the door (Quote: AE091)
Non members click here to book advance tickets at £7.00
/ £9.00 on the door (Quote: AE092)
SAA art clubs & RSC groups can bring all members at a special price of £6.00 per ticket. These tickets must be pre-booked, please click here (Quote AE093).
If you have an offer code for tickets please type it into the ‘Search’ box at the top of the ‘SAA Home Shop’ page and click ‘Go’
Pay by cheque:Send a cheque (made payable to SAA) and covering letter to: SAA, PO Box 50, Newark, Notts NG23 5GY (UK only)
Please note tickets are valid for one day only.