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Art After Work: Paintings from Todays WEA Class

25th June - 25th September 2016

This exhibition presented new work made by members of the WEA (Workers’ Educational Association) art classes across South East Northumberland in Ashington, Blyth and New Hartley. 

The exhibition was inspired by the historic connection between the WEA and the Ashington Group of artists (Pitmen Painters). The Ashington Group began life in 1934 as a WEA Art Appreciation class led by tutor Robert Lyon. The art appreciation class developed into a practical painting class, and their legacy is a unique collection of paintings documenting working life within a mining community.  

There are no longer any Pitmen Painters, but current WEA art class members continue to draw inspiration from the Ashington Group members’ desire for knowledge and self-improvement. Today’s WEA art classes offer members the same benefits of professional instruction and observation alongside mutual encouragement and constructive criticism.  

The exhibition celebrated the achievements of the class members and aimed to encourage other people to have a go at learning something new.

Find out more about the Ashington Group (Pitmen Painters) in the Ashington Group Gallery at Woodhorn. For more information about the WEA and classes in your area please visit http://www.wea.org.uk

This was produced in partnership with: Woodhorn Museum and the WEA

Image Credit: Kevin Gibson