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CLUB HISTORY

The Club was founded in 1962 and this page contains a table of notable dates in the Club's history compiled by members of the Club, and a Club History written in 1999 by H. R. W. Allan.

NOTABLE DATES

1961

A group of people, all with an interest in painting, met and decided to form an Art Club. Some of those were John Syme,   David Reid, Bob Morris, Gordon Munro and Jean Steel.

1962

Cupar Art Club was formed and the artists met in an old byre at 16 Bobber Wynd off the Crossgate Cupar. David Reid was the President of the Club.

1978

The Club moved to newly renovated premises in the old Castlehill School. Fife Council offered this accommodation to various societies and clubs that met in Cupar. The Art Club took over the first floor in the Theatre Block at Castlehill.

1984

David Reid, the President of the Club for 22 years, passed away.

1985

Edna Gray, who had been the Secretary of the Club for many years, became President.

1986

The Area Social Work Department took over the main building (including the hall, which had been used for the annual exhibition) but Cupar Art Club continued to meet in the Theatre Block. As the hall was no longer available the exhibition was moved to the Corn Exchange.

1989

Isabel Copland (who had been Vice-President for 4 years) became President and held the post until 2005.

1991

Fife Council carried out refurbishment of the Theatre Block and built a new toilet block at the rear of the building, creating a new entrance. During the refurbishment the Art Club met in the premises of the Camera Club in St Catherine Street.

1998

David French, a long standing member, died. He bequeathed a painting (hangs in the Club Studio) and 8 bound volumes of "Draw it, Paint it" to the Club.

2000

A bound History of Cupar Art Club was included in the Time Capsule which was buried in front of the Corn Exchange to mark the millennium.

2001

The Club celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a lunch attended by all members at Rathcluan House

2005

George Dalrymple served as President from 2005-2007.

2007

Allan Dow served as President from 2007-2009.

2008

The Art Club participated in the first two week art festival The Cupar Arts and Heritage Project by joining the Open Studio part of the event over the weekend of 18/19 October.

2009

Tom McKenna served as President.

2010

Vicky Coull became President.

 



A BRIEF HISTORY OF CUPAR ART CLUB

by H. R. W. Allan

Before the Art Club came into being about 1962 the premises at 16 Bobber Wynd, off Crossgate, had started life as a byre. The dilapidated stone building, with its corrugated tin roof, was previously occupied by a second-hand furniture dealer. On his departure, and as spartan as the property was, two or three enthusiasts showed interest.

People like the art enthusiast David Reid (well known for his portraits), Bob Halford, Edna Gray (still busy as ever), Mrs. Steel of Gallery "K" fame, and a few others, got their heads together and took the old building over.

A number of renovation exercises ensued to make the premises a little more presentable and almost homely - except when it rained! About then, local authorities were demolishing elderly prefabricated buildings to make way for a more solid occupation friendly housing schemes. And so it was, the Art Club fell heir to prefab flooring sections, lighting was installed suitable for drawing purposes, and a rather primitive heating system, with free standing heaters was provided. Early birds derived the benefit of sitting next to a heater!! Toilet and kitchen facilities were very basic in that they were in the same scullery. On occasion the small cottage, tagged on the end of the building, came into operation to make use of the additional space and, of course, the kitchen sink.

In its early years benefits to the Club derived from the enthusiasm and teaching from the likes of Jim Hardie, Neil Dallas Brown, Jim Barclay and others.

 

As the Club progressed and activities extended, a start was made towards annual exhibitions.

Talks and demonstrations evolved and, as an aside, the "young at heart" thought up the almost unlikely prospect of a fancy dress dance. For this, depending on the occasion, the ceiling would be decked with fishing net and coloured drapes. The walls were clad with long stretches of white paper - through the goodwill of local paper mills - and those with the courage and ability would serve up the most prestigious decoration, again associated with the theme for the evening.

Then, as if from nowhere, would appear the most unlikely outfits. If not the usual clown - what about a fairy princess complete with a halo, fru-fru and shod with WELLINGTON BOOTS? And that was only one of the MALE members!!

There came the time, however, when the Fife County Council wanted Bobbers Wynd cleared to create a car park.

About this time Castlehill buildings were vacated because of their inadequacy in the way of space, heating and external conditions, and so on. Accommodation was offered to the Club in the Theatre block and two rooms were provided, one for art work and the other for storage and for workshop purposes. Once the question of rent was raised, however, the dividing door was blocked off and the back room was taken over by the Railway Club. The result was that one room was occupied, as it is to this day.
4 March 1999