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Culture, Art

Wantage Art Group Provides Inspiration to Get Creative

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Sea scape in pastel by Diana Baker

If you are creative but don’t always find the time to put your creative skills into practice, joining an active art group may provide the stimulation that you need. For people living in and around Wantage, becoming a member of the very proactive Wantage Art Group would give you the opportunity to mix with like-minded people, all sharing a passion for painting in a range of mediums and displaying their work at a number of local exhibitions each year.

Established in April 1990, members meet at 7.30 pm on the third Wednesday of the month. From January 2024, they will be meeting at East Challow Village Hall which provides better parking and more space inside the hall for practical demonstrations. When the art group was set up, their first guest demonstration was from Beryl Maile, a local artist who started the Dolphin Gallery in Wantage. Over the years, the group regularly invites guest artists to demonstrate a range of practical skills and talk about different aspects of painting. Meetings are a mixture of practical demonstrations, talks about artist’s work and practical sessions covering a wide variety of media. Artists get involved in creating landscapes and seascapes, botanical paintings and pet portraits.

Shivering Beauty a hare by Jill Smith

The members are truly diverse in their style of painting and the materials they use from working in oil, watercolour, acrylics, to print making and Chinese brush work. The Wantage Art Group holds an annual exhibition in the Vale & Downland Museum which will be held in July 2024. They also display their work in other places around Wantage; one of their most successful displays was in 2019 when they took over an empty shop in the Market Place to hang their work. This is something they would love to repeat.

Through the year, two or three practical workshops of between four and five hours will be held, usually on a Saturday. The workshops will be run by one of the tutors they have had involved with their talks.

There will be a talk on the 17th January 2024 at East Challow Village Hall with a demo from Amanda Hislop who is a local artist with an international following. She delivers inspirational, lively presentations and loves working with a limited colour palette using the ‘less is more’ principle so will be including examples of her work, with samples and working sketchbooks which are a key part of her development work. The AGM will be held on the 21st February with talks by members about the work they do, and, on the 20th March, Rachael Anders will hold a practical session showing artists how to use coloured pencils successfully.

Oil of Letcombe watercress beds (Hardy's Cresscombe)

Membership is just £40 per year which represents exceptionally good value in terms of what you will learn from professional artists and other group members. Visitors are always welcome, paying £5 each at the door for the first two visits, then £10 a visit thereafter. Membership is open to anyone 16 years and over. If you would like further information about joining, please email

To find out more please visit


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