The Arts Society Exmoor has around 200 members, drawn from different walks of life and from a large geographical area stretching from Barnstaple to Taunton. In addition to their intrinsic value, our lectures and special interest days play a valuable role in bringing like-minded people together from all parts of that wide rural catchment.
Some of our members are very knowledgeable on their own account in areas of the visual arts, architecture, music and craft and can sometimes ask penetrating questions of visiting speakers, but no one should ever feel that personal expertise is a requirement for membership.
We are united by a common interest in learning more about key figures and movements in these fields of artistic creativity and endeavour, and we are welcoming and inclusive towards people at all levels of knowledge. Each lecture and special interest day brings illumination and enjoyment, and beyond that we offer day visits and longer tours to places of interest within the UK and abroad.
Tea after each lecture, periodic lunches for groups of members and a well-attended Christmas lunch before the December lecture further strengthen the social bonds offered by membership.
The Arts Society Exmoor began life in 1985 as the Exmoor Decorative and Fine Arts Society. It is part of The Arts Society, a national organisation and leading arts education charity with a network of 385 local Societies and some 90,000 members, which brings people together through a shared curiosity for the arts.
Visit the main website: https://theartssociety.org.
In May 2017, following a major re-branding exercise and to keep up with the changing times, The Arts Society replaced the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Society (NADFAS) as its operating name and at that time Exmoor Decorative and Fine Arts Society became The Arts Society Exmoor.
Additional special interest days, courses and tours are arranged by the The Arts Society South West Area, to which we are affiliated. Many of our members enjoy participating in these events. Visit the Area website for further details: https://www.nadfasswarea.org.uk
Part of our remit is also to stimulate and encourage in practical ways the development of young people with a serious interest and perhaps with career ambitions in the arts. In recent years we have supported young artists in the local area with grants to purchase equipment or take training courses. We have also helped with the costs of the Two Moors Festival’s musical outreach work with children in rural schools, and have funded several art lectures at Dulverton School, together with a children’s mask-making day at Exford and subsequent exhibition at the Heritage Centre in Dulverton. Any individual or group in the Exmoor area can apply to us for a grant, either directly or through a proposal by one of our members.
Heritage volunteering in various forms is very active in some Arts Society branches, as you will see if you explore the national website or look at the society’s magazine. Scope for this in our area is relatively limited but we know we could be doing more, and we would be glad to hear from individuals who might like to augment the hard work of the present committee and drive things forward in such ways.
Whether you’re new to the arts or an expert in your field, being a member of The Arts Society is an enriching experience. Find out more about becoming a member here.