Hooked on the Antiques Roadshow? Enjoy listening to experts on topics ranging from paintings to history, architecture to ceramics and much much more? Then Guildford Wey Valley Decorative and Fine Arts Society (DFAS) may be perfect for you. Formerly The Wey Valley DFAS, the Society has recently been relaunched with a new name, logo, easy to navigate website and publicity leaflet showing more clearly who they are and what they offer. What has not changed is its commitment, as the day society for Guildford, Godalming and surrounding areas, to educate, entertain and help preserve our cultural heritage and to promote arts and friendship in West Surrey.
Founded in 1989, it is a friendly and thriving Society with some 200 members open to all who share an interest in the fine and decorative arts and who wish to learn more and to have fun in the company of others with similar interests in a sociable and relaxed atmosphere.
Membership of the society costs £42 a year which gives members access to the full programme of activities. At the core of the annual programme are 10 illustrated, stimulating and varied lectures by renowned experts in their field. They take place at Shalford Village Hall, which has ample free parking, on the third Thursday of each month at 10.45am with refreshments from 9.45am.
The varied choice of lectures caters for all tastes and interests and helps members to broaden their knowledge and appreciation of the arts. Recent topics range from ‘Stocking Fillers from Faberge’ to ‘Robert Adam’s Practice in London’ and from ‘Coalbrookdale to Crystal Palace’ to ‘The Mistress in History’. At each lecture, there is a small library of arts related books for members to borrow and an information table with extensive leaflets about local and London based cultural events.
Special Interest Days explore a topic in greater depth, with 2-3 lectures and a convivial lunch. Examples include ‘English Porcelain’ with a ‘Roadshow’ and ‘A Journey through 3000 Years of Chinese Civilization’. The short 3 night cultural tours in May have ranged from Shropshire to Lincoln and York to the Great Houses of Derbyshire. Recent day trips include Stowe House and Garden and the Waterloo Exhibition at Windsor Castle. The social programme includes a new members lunch and popular summer lunch.
Those wishing to play a more active and team role through heritage volunteering will find opportunities include Church recording and young arts. The Church recording team has completed a full record of St Mary’s and Holy Trinity Churches, Guildford and is now working on St Nicholas Church, Compton. The flourishing young arts group promotes arts education for the young and has developed an excellent relationship with Green Oak Primary School, Godalming and Watts Gallery. And if you wish to put your skills, experience and enthusiasm to best use, perhaps as you ease into retirement, there are always opportunities to help with the running of the society and its website.
Benefits include membership of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS) who helped with the Society relaunch. Members enjoy discounted entry to some exhibitions and receive the quarterly NADFAS Review, with wide ranging articles on the arts and information on forthcoming events.
New members and visitors, who may attend up to 3 lectures at £6 each, are always made very welcome. Tempted? Then why not sample a lecture? The March lecture looks at ‘Artists in the Theatre’ from Raphael to Hockney and their designs for plays, ballets and opera.
Visit their website www.gwvdfas.org.uk or call Jackie Ellerton 01932 355113 or Brian Hawtin 01483 561306.