Waterside Art Group History – from small beginnings
The history of the current Waterside Art Group, we believe, started with a group of six artists called ‘Hythe Painters’. They used to meet at the end of Hythe Pier in one of the rooms, probably the tea room.
The current Waterside Art Group was formed in October 1975 by Henry Mills and his wife Bella Mills, who acted as secretary. The Group met at Dibden Church Rooms every Monday, later moving to the Fairview Centre in Hythe. In January 1983 the group moved to the Red Cross Hut in Hythe car park. It finally moved to the Hythe and Dibden Community Centre early in 1985.
Members have contributed greatly to the group by building the display boards used in our exhibitions. Recent additional features at the annual exhibition have included a craft table for which members have donated a wide variety of craft items. Also there was a raffle of a painting donated by a member.
Members are encouraged to suggest new activities, competition opportunities and exhibition venues as well as varied social activities. These, plus a continual influx of new members, help to keep the group fresh and attractive to visitors and members alike.
Development of Members
Over the years some members have developed in expertise and confidence and have therefore pursued additional artistic activities. Some have formed a group that exhibits annually at Exbury Gardens. Others have delivered workshops and demonstrations to this group and elsewhere. Some have displayed their work in a variety of galleries and other venues. Others have taken part in the annual Hampshire Open Studios.
Some members have been successful in local open art competitions against stiff competition. As well as in Hythe and Dibden Community Centre WAG has exhibited in various locations such as Hanger Farm and Hythe Library. Also in 2016 Waterside Art Group exhibited in the first New Forest Arts Festival at Furzey Gardens.