Kilmood Art Club - The Early Days
Kilmood Art Club was formed in April 1989 by Lyn Majury who approached friends in and around the Ballygowan - Killinchy area to get together and form the club. She approached the Rev Ray Devenney then Rector of Killinchy and Kilmood parish to see if Kilmood Hall was available for rent. The hall was available on a Thursday at a modest rent and under the auspices of the church the club was born.
The club has continued to meet on the first and second Thursday of each month and still has roughly the same number of members as it had by the end of its first year. The aim of the club is to enjoy art no matter what their age. The Club was originally self-funded and talks and demonstrations relied on the goodwill of local artists. In the early months we had demonstrations from the late John Hunter, Leslie Nesbitt and Betty Oliver Brown.
The Club held itís first exhibition in October 1989 in Comber Library, where 24 members exhibited 76 paintings. It was opened by Chris Dearden who was going to be demonstrating watercolour techniques to the group later in the year. This exhibition was successful and gave us the courage to have a sale of paintings and other small items in December in Kilmood Hall with the proceeds going to the Carrickmannon Scanner Appeal.
Four of the founder members are still in the club today, Nance Stewart, Valerie Craig, Colin Smyth and Lyn Majury and these are the only members left who exhibited in that first exhibition.
Visiting artists have returned over the years to do further talks, demonstrations and workshops having enjoyed the friendly and enthusiastic atmosphere in the club.
New members over the past years have brought many new ideas and so the club has continued to evolve and not stagnate.