Wivenhoe Arts Centre 1966

Article in the Essex County Standard, dated Friday 9 September 1966

Added by Pat Marsden

To Decide Wivenhoe Arts Centre Policy

The broad pattern of policy for Wivenhoe Arts Centre – developed from outbuildings at Ballast Quay House, comprising coach houses and stables – is to be decided at a meeting of founder members next month.

The centre is a project originated by the owner of the property, national newspaper feature writer Mr George Gale.  Work is going ahead to give the centre a new look while retaining its original characteristics.

The buildings have been re-roofed, the interior beams cleaned and new flooring laid.  Terracing will be built on the forecourt to the centre.

The bar, lounge and galleries will be furnished as soon as a club licence has been granted.

Big Demand

The club secretary, Mr Jack Cross [head of the art department of Sir Anthony Deane School, Dovercourt] said there was a considerable demand for such a centre but there would be some restrictions on membership to retain the intimate and individual nature of the club.

The maximum membership had been tentatively fixed at 250. They already had support from the art communities of North Essex, Suffolk, and Cambridge and also from weekenders from London and further afield.  The age limit was 21.

He thought the centre would aid the exchange of ideas which could accelerate the development of a Wivenhoe art colony with characteristics born of the community and the environment.

There would be some facilities in the centre for rented living accommodation but the system adopted would depend on experience.

”This is a members’ club and we shall develop playing it by the ear,” said Mr Cross.

Mrs Cross, who will be in charge of the catering, is at present equipping the club kitchen.

There will be room at the centre for a gallery which may be hired for exhibitions, and in the lounge it will be possible from time to time for members to exhibit their own paintings.  There will also be facilities for art classes and lectures.

[This is a slightly edited version of the original article]

This page was added on 10/10/2018.

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