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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.

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

Current Council 

  • President – Vacant
  • Treasurer – Mel Guatalli
  • Secretary – Amanda Hirst
  • Ann Craig
  • Gerry Stott
  • Bryan Angus
  • Margaret Brown
  • Anna Weir-Shirron
  • Doug Cameron
  • Bruce Swanson
  • Rebecca Patterson
  • Fenneke Wolters-Sinke
  • Kathryn McFarlane
  • Rita Kermack

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.