Greater London

Greater London - Art Societies and Art Clubs

covering any or all of the London Boroughs and the City of London 

London has quite a few art societies - but oddly enough, given the population, there are not as many as you might think!

 If any Society listed here would like me to update the information about them on this page please leave a comment and/or contact me via email (see the side column).


Chelsea Art Society

This art society has a website which in many ways is a model for other art societies - however it lacks an exhibitions page.

  • Founded: 1910 - the oldest and sole survivor of the many art groups in the area in early 20th century.
  • Purpose: The society is a financially sound, non-profit making group open to all in terms of geography and selective in terms of admission - based on exhibition performance
  • Management: Council - names and faces - on website. President has a blog.
  • Membership:
    • currently around 100 members
    • no residential qualifications for members or exhibitors.
    • selective admission: artists are invited to join the Society through having shown exceptional work at the exhibition over a three year period
  • Subscription:?
  • Based: ?
  • Exhibitions:
    • not limited to Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea residents only
    • majority of exhibitors tend to be residents of RBKC
    • annual Open Art Exhibition in Chelsea Old Town Hall in early summer
    • online entry form
    • archive of information about past exhibitions
  • Events: ?
  • Groups: online members (only) forum on website
  • Gallery:  members have the option of an individual page providing bio and artworks
  • Talks and Demonstrations: ?
  • News: news page is periodically updated
  • Website: - professional looking website both in design and functionality. Works well on desktop, tablet and smartphone. One for other art societies to take a look at
  • Facebook: - acts as a notice board for all members of the society, and highlights forthcoming or current exhibitions, awards and other achievements
  • Contact email supplied

The London Group

A collective of artists with a long and proud history of over 90 years. The London Group instigates peer-group reviews and group public exhibitions.

  • Founded: set up in 1913 by thirty two artists. This is the history of the London group
  • Purpose: to create a powerful artist-run group to act as a counter-balance to institutions such as the Royal Academy
  • Membership:
  • Subscription: ?
  • Based: ?
  • Exhibitions:
    • details of current, upcoming and past exhibitions
    • London Group Open 2015 - cash and material prizes worth over £5,000
    • online submission
    • two exhibitions in October and November at Cello Factory
  • Events: ?
  • Groups None
  • Gallery:  None
  • Talks and Demonstrations: ?
  • News: dedicated news page which gives a flavour of the LG. Newsletter archive available on website - goes back to 2007
  • Website:
  • Contact The London Group, PO Box 61045, London SE1 8RN

Hesketh Hubbard Art Society (Life Drawing)

London's largest life drawing society meets at the Mall Galleries at least once a week (usually either Mondays or Fridays. Members can work from one or more of four models providing different poses.

This is NOT a 'turn up and draw' art society

. You need to become a member. There are about 150 members and last time I asked there was a waiting list for membership. 

It's named after Eric Hesketh Hubbard RBA, its first President after it was founded in 1930 by the Royal Society of British Artists as a drawing club

  • Founded: 1930 by the Royal Society of British Artists; Named after its first President
  • Purpose: a drawing club and London's largest life drawing group
  • Membership:
    • around 150 members
    • Prospective members may attend one session free before applying for membership
    • admission is selective and includes review of a portfolio of work
  • Subscription: £215 a year for 48 drawing sessions and no cover charge
  • Based: Mall Galleries
  • Exhibitions: annual exhibition at Mall Galleries - however the exhibition is not focused on life drawing!
  • Events: Participates in the charitable activities e.g. the FBA’s Art Outreach Programme, working with young people
  • Groups: London's largest life drawing group
  • Gallery: None
  • Talks and Demonstrations: ?
  • News: None
  • Website: No website. Nearest equivalent is a page on the Mall Galleries website -
  • Contact: 020 7930 6844
    • President: Simon Whittle PHH
    • Vice President: Margaret Rhodes VPHH
Hesketh Hubbard Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries

London Urban Sketchers

  • Founded: February 2012
  • Purpose: See Urban Sketchers Manifesto  
  • Membership: Fluid - everybody welcome
  • Subscription: None - all events are free
  • List of Artists: None - see blog, Facebook Group and Flickr Group for sketches
  • Based: Peripatetic
  • Gallery: None
  • Exhibitions: Regular (annual) exhibitions at Timberyard coffee shops in central London
  • Events
    • subscribe via email to the blog to get announcements
  • Groups and activitiesNote: no sketches from figure drawing sessions or posed
  • Lectures and Visits: 'awayday' sketchcrawls - this summer to Oxford
  • News
  • Website/Blog
  • Twitter:
  • Facebook Group:
  • Flickr: Members of Flickr are welcome to add their sketches to the Group Pool once admitted to membership of the Urban Sketchers Flickr Group
  • Contact: see side column of blog for contact email address
London Urban Sketchers at One New Change - opposite St. Pauls in April 2015


Highgate Watercolour Group

  • Founded: 1980 - as part of the Highgate Society
  • Purpose:
  • Membership: Numbers constrained by premises; enquiries welcome from experienced watercolour artists
  • Subscription: Annual - £55
  • Based: 10A South Grove (opposite Pond Square), Highgate, North London (home of the Highgate Society)
  • Exhibitions: Annual Exhibition in the autumn (2015 Exhibition: 13-26 November 2015)
  • Events:
  • regular painting sessions at base every Thursday
  • regular outings
  • Gallery: Via website on third party site
  • Talks and Demonstrations: periodic visits by professional tutors and/or models
  • News: ?
  • Website
  • Contact: see website

Islington Art Society

  • Founded: Founded in Spring 1941 - as an antidote to the war!
  • Purpose: run by its members for artists living in and around Islington.
  • Membership
    • open to both professional and amateur artists living in and around Islington
    • members are expected to contribute to the activities of the society (eg stewarding during exhibitions) and  are asked for their range of skills when they join
  • Subscription: £20 p.a.
  • List of Artists
    • represent a range of disciplines including painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking and ceramics
  • Based: ?
  • Gallery:  
  • Exhibitions: Annual Exhibition - in 2015 they held their 75th Annual Exhibition at Waterlow House
  • Events, lectures and visits: e.g. Estorick Collection - see website
  • Groups: Art in the Park sketching group - find out the date and place for the next meeting by visiting the Art in the Park blog
  • News: ?
  • Website
  • Twitter
  • Contact: contact us page


This is the South London Art Map

Blackheath Art Society

  • Founded: 1947
  • Purpose: "We aim to enhance the reputation of a society which is at once historic and expanding."
  • Membership: professional and semi-professional artists living and working in the area
  • Based: ?
  • Groups: ?
  • Gallery: ?
  • Exhibitions: two or three exhibitions every year
  • Lectures and visits: ?
  • News: ?
  • Events: Annual Open Studios
  • Website: Flash! Extremely difficult to use - changes size - parts of it are inaccessible. It's actually easier to view on a phone than on a desktop screen
  • Contact: contacts for website and membership fees 
    •  President Terry Scales

Bromley Art Society

  • Founded: Formed in 1947
  • Purpose: The aim is to bring together local painters and sculptors, art teachers and students, and all who share an appreciation of the fine arts.
  • Membership: Mostly amateur artists working in a variety of media. Not limited to those living in Bromley. 
  • Subscription: £20 p.a.
  • Based: No base - apart from one rented for talks
  • Exhibitions:  
    • annual public exhibitions in the Bromley area at e.g. church halls
    • a series of Open Air one day exhibitions during the Summer.
  • Events: see above
  • Groups: Online forum set-up but largely inactive 
  • Gallery: members galleries - individual pages per artist with multiple images 
  • Talks and Demonstrations: Illustrated Talks and Demonstrations held first Friday of the Month. In 2015: 8.00 pm in Ripley Arts Centre, 24 Sundridge Avenue, Bromley. BR1 2PX
  • News: an "occasional" newsletter - last one published some years ago
  • Website:  Not responsive - works reasonably well on a tablet but not on a smartphone
  • Contact

The Croydon Art Society

  • Founded: founded 1881. Timeline of the history of the society on the website
  • Membership:
    • assessed - open to all artists whose artwork is of a consistent high standard
    • applications processed twice a year in Spring and Autumn
  • Subscription: not stated
  • List of Artists: on website - with links to a webpage on the society website - which can include a link to the artists own website
  • Based: Christchurch Methodist Minor Hall, Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon. CR0 6AD / wheelchair accessible
  • Exhibitions: 
    • Annual Exhibition (for over 100 years) at various venues within the borough
  • Events2015 Programme. Includes a variety of activities including social occasions
  • Groups: ? 
  • Gallery: of artists' work
  • Talks and Demonstrations: Regular demonstrations by professional artists; Critiques of work by guest artists
  • Visits: ?
  • News: ?
  • Website:
  • Contact: Contact via email

Dulwich Art Group

Richmond Art Society

The society, through its lecture programmes and exhibitions, brings together those living in the neighbourhood of in Richmond upon Thames who are interested in the visual arts. It also provides opportunities for local artists and others who are interested in art to meet socially.

  • Founded: Soon after WW2
  • Purpose: an umbrella organisation for both artists and art lovers who live in Richmond and adjacent boroughs
  • Membership: professional and semi-professional artists, amateur artists and art lovers. You don't have to be a practising artist. 
    • Fee: £25 p.a.
    • selection process to become an exhibiting member
  • Based: Richmond
  • Groups: none
  • Gallery: members works - clicking an image provides details of individual artists and a display of their artwork
  • Exhibitions: two exhibitions each year - late Spring and late Autumn. Work for sale - drawings, paintings, sculpture and ceramics. Submission limited to exhibiting members - forms available on website
  • Talks and Demonstrations: extensive and well regarded series of lectures on Wednesday evenings in the autumn and winter. Held at The American University in London, Queen’s Road, Richmond TW10 6JP
  • News: highlights members activities and recommendations re. exhibitions
  • Events
  • Website: - tends to be very slow
  • Contact:
Note: the website is extremely slow.

South London Women Artists

South London Women Artists is a community of women artists based in South London, who present an inspirational portfolio online and through exhibitions. South London Women Artists was launched by the Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery in June 2008. It offers a website on which women artists living or working south of the river can post a profile about their work. SLWA also:

  • nurtures the professional development and careers of its members by helping them access wider opportunities.
  • promotes artist-led projects and communal activities such as talks, workshops and visits, and exhibitions of members' works within a strong curatorial framework
  • is self-managed and self-financed, so it maintains critical independence.

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