The aim of the Art Appreciation groups is to explore all aspects of Art and exchange information, experience and opinions in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.

The definition of "Art" is broad and embraces most visual means of communication and expression, including drawing, painting, sculpture, illustration, photography, architecture and design.

We use whatever means are appropriate, including individual presentations, discussion, and visits to galleries.

The two groups meet separately, with different agendas but will join forces to organise trips to galleries.

We visit two or three major exhibitions each year and recent visits have included:

  • Victor Passmore - 'Towards a new reality' at Lakeside, Nottingham University.
  • City of Culture 2017, Hull, was a must with the Ferens Gallery being a highlight.
  • The New Art Gallery, Walsall, with the extraordinary Garman Ryan collection, together with temporary exhibitions of JMW Turner and Quentin Blake. 

Charges for visiting speakers and the cost of visits to galleries and exhibitions are shared between members.

Art Appreciation Group 1

Members should have an interest in the subject and be prepared to make occasional presentations on artists or works of art that interest them.

We normally view artworks using MAU3A's laptop and data projector, though reproductions from books and postcards are also used.

Topics are chosen democratically by the group and are broadly-based, to allow everyone an opportunity to learn and contribute equally. Within each theme members explore their interests with presentations and each topic may last several months.

In 2015 we explored photography, drawing, illustration, architecture, design, ceramics, etc, under the umbrella title of "Anything but Painting and Sculpture". Then we began to look at "Schools of Art".

In 2016 we continued with this theme with presentations on The English Kitchen Sink Group, The Canadian Group Seven, Masaccio, The Secession Movement, The Skagen Painters, the Vorticists, DeStilj and English Eighteenth Century Landscape Painters.

More recently, we explored Swedish Art, The Camden Town Group, Celtic Art and the artist Utrillo.

Art Appreciation Group One normally meets at The Whitworth Centre at Darley Dale on the second Tuesday of each month from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. There there is ample free car parking.

There is normally a charge to cover the costs of room hire and refreshments. The charge will vary, depending on the number of members attending.


The Art Appreciation Groups on their visit to the Victor Passmore Exhibition at Nottingham Lakeside Gallery.

Images courtesy of Dr. Eleanor Forward, University of Nottinghamand Lakeside Arts

The group's coordinator is Anne Oldfield, who can be contacted by email by clicking on her name, or by telephone on 01629 733296.

Art Appreciation Group 2

This group meets to broaden minds and to inform, educate and entertain the members whilst also giving them the opportunity to contribute to the meetings.

Where are the boundaries of Art? Painting, sculpture, design, architecture, photography, cinema, theatre, garden design, computer generated imagery, 3d printing, typography, advertising and all art on the Internet. Are these the boundaries, or do they stretch even further?

We may not answer the questions, but we will have lively and informed discussions.


In 2018 we explored Crafts in the world of art, including the Arts & Craft movement and textile artists May Morris, Sonja Delaunay and  Alice Kettle.  We also heard about the quilts of the Amish community of Pennsylvania.

In June, together with AA1 we had an outing to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford to see the 'America's Cool Modernism' exhibition.  It was an excellent exhibition and a very successful coach trip.

In the second half of the year topics included John Piper, Monet, Bill Viola (video artist), Expressionism and Abstract Expressionism, Prints and how they are achieved, Asian Art including traditional artefacts and contemporary artists.

The Visit to the York Art Gallery

Oppy Wood, 1917. Evening, by John Nash.

Image © Imperial War Museum

Art Appreciation Group Two meets in “The Studio” at St Elphin’s, Darley Dale on the third Monday of each month from 2.00pm to 4.00pm.

There is a charge of £3.00 per person per session, which includes the cost of tea, or coffee and biscuits.

The programme for the first half of 2019 below:-



21 January

Christo, of Reichstag wrapping fame and Theo Jansen, known for his kinetic sculptures.

18 February

Barbara Hepworth and other women sculptors.

18 March

Land art, found objects and natural minerals.

15 April

Spanish Impressionism, Sorolla.

20 May

Children in Art - Epstein, Gainsborough etc.

17 June

Flemish artist - Bruegel.

15 July

Contemporary interpretation of traditional Indian and Australian Art.

The group coordinator is Penny Whitney, who can be contacted by email by clicking on her name, or by telephone on 01629 582516.

Last updated on 24 January, 2019
© Matlock Area U3A, 2019 - Registered Charity Number 1161704