Aberdeen Artists Society

About

A Bit About The Aberdeen Artists Society

The Aberdeen Artists Society was formed in 1827 by a group of artists with James Giles and Archibald Simpson as President and Vice President respectively. The Aim of the Society was the Mutual improvement of Painting and the furtherance of Art in general in Aberdeen. Over the past 192 years the Society has re-invented itself a number of times. Yet has remained true to its original aims, the promotion of Art in the Northeast of Scotland and the placing of Aberdeen as a culturally relevant centre for the arts. Through the awarding of prizes by a judge of national or international standing the Society has drawn artists from all over the country to exhibit.

From 1981 to 2012 the Society enjoyed sponsorship from Shell UK, which allowed the Society to offer significant prizes as well as bursaries and awards to artists. in 2013 the Society was pleased to team up with Apache North Sea Ltd, who sponsored the Apache Awards, as well as a number of local companies to create a diverse prize fund. It is hoped that these collaborations will continue into the future.

The mounting of a major exhibition is a huge task and is accomplished by the Society’s Council with the help of the Aberdeen Art Gallery staff and a great many volunteers. The selection process is very egalitarian and submission of works is open to artists of all disciplines and levels of experience. The Annual Exhibition regularly receives upwards of six hundred works and selects between two to three hundred works for mounting and exhibition. The Exhibition remains very popular with the public and is a highlight of the cultural year within the Northeast.

2014 saw our final Annual Exhibition at the Aberdeen Art Gallery before the Gallery closed for its exciting refurbishment. Consequently, 2015/16 had been a challenging time for the Society. The Society run a program of smaller exhibitions throughout those two years. Most of these exhibitions have been open only to our members. But it is hoped that the Society will be able to stage an open exhibition in the Northeast of Scotland in 2017 and continue to be a beacon for the Arts.

We are very pleased to be working with The Aberdeen Art Gallery on a new program of exhibitions.

The Gallery hopefully re-opens in 2019 and we are due to have meetings with Gallery representatives to discuss when the society returns to the gallery and in what form this will take.  There will undoubtedly be changes to the format. Exciting times. maybe.

Current Council 

  • President – Bruce Swanson
  • Vice President – Susie Hunt
  • Secretary – Jenny Ross
  • Exhibitions Officer – Vacant
  • Treasurer – Ann Craig
  • Memberships – Trisha Richie. Contact membership@aberdeenartistssociety.co.uk

Council Members

  • Bruce Swanson
  • Susie Hunt
  • Jenny Ross
  • Margaret Preston
  • Trisha Richie
  • Rusudana Glonti
  • Martin Stevenson
  • Shelagh Brown
  • Alan Florence
  • Gerry Stott
  • Hannah Stirling
  • Rebecca Grant
  • Irene Strachan

The Society has many paid up members and some honorary. It is run by an elected council of volunteers drawn from the membership. There is an up to date constitution. The selection and hanging committees are also elected at the Annual General Meeting.