For the first time, the guild is exhibiting in the Wesley Hall, in Stapylton Road – until Saturday 26 October – and the organisers hope the show’s proximity to the Spires shopping centre will attract more visitors.
Gillian Griffiths, who has returned to the position of guild chairman, told guests at the opening of the show that this year’s entry of 149 paintings and drawings was “very impressive, and to a very high standard”.
After touring the exhibits, Ken Rowland, chairman of the Barnet Residents Association, declared the show was open.
He revealed that as an artist himself, he “might be persuaded” to join the guild.
Barnet Guild of Artists is a wonderful institution.... they hold workshops and demonstrations
“Barnet Guild of Artists is a wonderful institution and in addition to painting sessions at their studio, they hold workshops and demonstrations and work with Barnet Council to deliver arts to the community.”
Ms Griffiths takes part in judging for the care home art competitions for Silver Week, which is arranged by Talia Lief as care quality adviser for Barnet Council.
Ms Griffiths told the Barnet Society that the guild was still waiting to hear from the Charity Commission whether it could become a charity – a change that was considered necessary if the guild moves to a new studio that developers have promised to build as part of the redevelopment of the Whalebones estate.
Other options include the guild becoming a trust or a charitable incorporated organisation.
The guild will need to have an enhanced status if it is to take on liability for a new public building – a move that will depend on whether planning approval is given for the Whalebones redevelopment; the demolition of the studio built by the guild’s founder Gwyneth Cowing; and the construction of new premises for the guild and the Barnet Beekeepers Association.
Art sessions are held four days a week for the 120 members of the guild at their Whalebones studio and Ms Griffiths and the guild’s committee are organising next year’s series of monthly demonstrations by professional artists.