On the 30th of September, a special exhibition will commence at Cliffe Castle, commemorating the 102nd anniversary of Keighley Art Club.

Present and former members of the club, as well as descendants and families of earlier members, have generously loaned exhibits. This collective effort has resulted in a remarkable celebration of both the artistic ingenuity of Keighley residents and the enduring legacy of Keighley Art Club.

Established in 1921, this influential club is believed to be the region’s oldest continuously operating club of its kind. It is renowned for its diverse membership and its significant role in shaping the artistic landscape of the town and beyond.

Bradford Council’s executive member for healthy people and places, Cllr Sarah Ferriby said: “This is a really exciting event, especially given the upcoming UK City of Culture 2025. There have been hundreds of members over the years with very different backgrounds, all sharing the same goal of meeting to paint or craft in the good company of others who share their enthusiasm.

“We are delighted to host this important free exhibition at Cliffe Castle. We hope as many people as possible will come along to see the incredible artwork and to truly appreciate the impact that Keighley Art Club has had, and continues to have. It’s a very special club and this will be a very special display.”

Karen Stansfield from Keighley Art Club said: “The club even continued to hold exhibitions through World War Two and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Most recently the club continued to meet through the pandemic when members did not meet in person for two years. Undaunted, they met via Whatsapp – a new medium for most of them!

“The club has a long history of sharing themes for their work but to celebrate the club’s 102 years, anything and everything has been encouraged with painting, collages, drawings, sculptures and textiles all represented.”

Apart from the myriad works on display in the gallery, there is also a KAC trail spanning both floors of Cliffe Castle, extending along Skipton Rd., North St. to the Library, the Civic Centre Police Museum (when open), and the Arcade on North Street.

Visitors may find it surprising to learn that many of the permanent exhibits in the museum and throughout the town were crafted by members of the Keighley Art Club, which has truly served as a prominent platform and a longstanding influence on the artistic scene in Keighley.

The exhibition at Cliffe Castle will open on Saturday, 30th September, and will continue until the 14th of January, 2024. Admission is free, though some pieces may be available for purchase.

Keighley Art Club convenes every Wednesday from 18:45 to 20:45, operating from March to December. The annual subscription is presently £20, with an additional £3.00 for each attendance. New members are warmly welcomed.

For inquiries, contact klyartgroup@gmail.com or visit the Keighley Art Group’s Facebook page.