something of our history

May 13, 2015Posted by the Webmaster


The Fosseway Artists has a long history of promoting the work of practising artists in the Cotswolds.

A former member writes:

"I joined years ago shortly after it was founded.  Sorting through old records I have at last found the box labelled "Fosseway Artists" where my mother Joyce Chambers of Cirencester kept the catalogues and even more interestingly the printout of the inaugural meeting which was held in her house. She and others started the Fosseway Artists after they closed down the Cirencester Arts Club at its AGM on the 14th June 1965 with £60 in the bank.  The Fosseway Artists was created at the first meeting on the 9th November 1965 at Lavender House studio and a Constitution was drawn up. A copy of this first Constitution along with a sheet of paper bearing 18 signatures of the founder members and other interesting notes is still in my possession.

I think it was in 1995 (when my mother died aged 96) that I came across the box when I moved all her possessions to our house on Exmoor.  The box got buried in all the other things and was put in our attic and now, of course I have discovered it at last. My mother was quite remarkable.  During my "gap year" as it is now called, just after the war, I started painting at the Beeches in Cirencester and encouraged my mother to join and start painting,which she did.  She went from strength to strength with her beautiful oil paintings of Cotswold barns and had three hung at the Royal Academy."

The Fosseway Artists announced their intentions in a letter to the former members of the Cirencester Arts Club:

"It has been decided to form a group of practising artists with the primary object of holding an exhibition of paintings and sculpture at least once a year. It is hoped that the first exhibition will be in Cirencester in the spring of 1966, and it may be possible to arrange later spring exhibitions in other suitable centres. An annual membership fee of 10/6 has been suggested and whether or not a hanging fee will be charged will depend on circumstances. If you are interested will you please get in touch, if possible before the end of September."

Joyce herself writes:

"I had stood on the door as people left the closing down meeting of the Cirencester Arts Club, taking down names, & to those people our notice was sent - also, to anyone else who might be interested in joining."

And so the Fosseway Artists was born ...