Lectures are held in the Matthews Hall, Topsham, on the second Thursday of the month from September to June. We are constrained for the foreseeable future by Government guidelines designed to contain the Coronovirus. These guidelines are those that relate to a performance, and ensure that an audience must maintain social distancing, and strictly adhere to the rules that are published by the membership secretary with each lecture. These mean that the maximum audience for a lecture is fifty five. Each lecturer is invited to give the lecture twice in the hall, and also to record the lecture so that we can make it available to all our members.
The lecturer is chosen from the Art Society Directory by our Programme Secretary, Gay Harris. This is a joint decision made with The Arts Society, Exeter, after consultation with the committee. All the lecturers have an established and national reputation, and are approved after auditions by The Art Society in London. Each year all the programme secretaries from the south west groups meet and give their opinions of any lecturers they have had that year.
The subjects for the lectures as defined by the Art Society are “The study of the history, social history, techniques and materials, design and manufacture and collections of: architecture, archaeology, painting, prints, sculpture, textiles, furniture, furnishings, costume, glass, jewellery, ceramics, enamel, metalwork, garden design and installation art; as well as the lives and influences of the artists, architects, craftsmen and patrons involved”.
Of course, the aim is to give variety across a range of subjects and to find interesting and amusing speakers!
Each lecture starts promptly at 10.45 a.m. Coffee is served between 10.15 a.m. and 10.40am
Visitors and guests are welcome by prior contact with the membership secretary, though we are restricted by the legal limits on the size of an audience in the hall. Therefore reluctantly, the Committee has decided that we must restrict the number of guests so that full members get priority. The limit on guests will be FIVE per lecture and potential guests must be registered with the Membership Secretary at least 24 hours before the talk. Unregistered guests who turn up on the day may have to be refused entry.