WALSALL SOCIETY OF ARTISTS
The Society was founded in December 1949 by Alderman T P Riley, J.P. He gathered a number of notable citizens who were interested in Art.
The first Chairman was J Dixon, Manager of the Walsall Branch of the Midland Bank. The first Secretary was G Willott, A.R.C.A., who was the Headmaster of the School of Art in Goodhall Street, the first Treasurer was W W Shuffrey owner of Shuffrey's Hardware Shop at 42 Stafford Street, Walsall, and the first President of the Society was E M Elliot whose shop, Elliot's the Chemists, was in Park Street, Walsall.
From 1955 to 1967 Miss E M Bachelor-Flint, F.R.S.A. was the Society President. She was the Art Teacher at Queen Mary's Grammar School for Boys, Walsall, and later was founder and Headteacher of Hydesville School, Walsall. Miss Flint said at a Society Committee Meeting that she would seek election to Walsall Town Council solely to fight for a Walsall Art Gallery which was needed as a cultural asset for the town and as a place to exhibit the work of the Walsall Society of Artists.
She was successful in becoming Mayor and realising her ambition with the official opening of the E.M. Flint Art Gallery with the Society's 16th Annual Exhibition taking place there on Friday, 15th October 1965. Subsequently this establishment and management led to the building of the New Art Gallery, Walsall, which opened in the year 2000.
The Walsall Society of Artists is non-profit making and is organised for charitable purposes, with the aim of advancing education and community art for the people of Walsall and the surrounding districts.
Membership is open to anyone who wishes to join. Yearly the Society membership is approximately 150. Non-members, visitors, friends and anyone interested may attend any activities which include monthly meetings of demonstrations by visiting artists, lectures, outdoor sketching trips and visits to exhibitions and art venues.
There is an annual dinner. Periodic newsletters are issued to members who are eligible to show their work in exhibitions organised by the Society.
Society artists draw, paint, sculpt, make pots and craftwork.