Information and Application Form


Colchester Art Society is one of the leading and most celebrated art societies in the UK. It currently has over 200 members and was founded in 1946 by a group of artists based in and around Colchester and the Colchester School of Art. In a period of renewed optimism after the devastation of the war, these young artists shared in the general hope for a brighter future and formed a society where professional and talented aspiring artists could exhibit together.

Among the earliest members were John Nash RA, Sir Cedric Morris Bt, Arthur Lett-Haines, Sylvia St. George, Henry Collins, Joyce Pallot, Rowland Suddaby, John O’Connor, Roderic Barrett, Hugh Cronyn GM, Andrew Dodds, and Peter Coker RA. The first exhibition was held in Colchester Castle, showing the work of 37 artists. It was selected by a committee of 5, purely on merit, regardless of whether the artist was professional or amateur, celebrated or unknown.

This “Open” policy, with works chosen by a selection panel, is still the case. Anyone can submit work, and non-members are always invited to join the society. We have gathered many new and talented members in this way and the high standards of the society are thus maintained.   There has never been an automatic right to be shown (except for a few distinguished honorary members).  

The Colchester Art Society is not an art club so there are no regular meetings except for the Annual General Meeting. At the AGM members can stand for election to the committee which meets several times a year. Today, after more than 70 years, the Colchester Art Society still provides opportunities for exhibiting, informal debate and information. The society promotes and presents painting, print making, sculpture, works on paper, textiles and ceramics, and welcomes all visual art forms.

Membership of the society is open to all who practice in or have an enthusiasm for the visual arts and provides the following benefits:

  • Opportunity to submit works for  two exhibitions each year
  • Invitation to the Private View for each exhibition giving members opportunities to meet
  • A Newsletter published approximately every four months
  • Opportunity to exhibit your art works on the Society’s website and promote your exhibitions via social media
  • An annual garden party, usually held in August, and a Christmas lunch
  • Group visits each year to art galleries, museums, stately homes and sculpture gardens
  • Lectures by prominent figures in the arts
  • Opportunity to borrow original works from our acclaimed Permanent Collection, subject to proof of adequate insurance cover.

The Colchester Art Society website ( gives details of exhibitions, lectures, other events and a list of the officers.

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Application DH GDPR



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