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Portgordon Art Group brush off pandemic as exhibition hailed

By Alan Beresford

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THERE was a warm welcome back for Portgordon Art Group's annual exhibition when it emerged from its Covid-enforced break.

The weekend of July 23-24 saw around 120 pieces produced by group members go on display at the Spey Bay Community Hall following a launch evening on July 22.

It was the first time the event, a stalwart in the local summer calendar, had been able to make an appearance due to pandemic rules since 2019.

While it may have been a while since the group's last show, it was nevertheless clear that the intervening time had not diminished members' passion for art, with an outstanding variety of work on display across a selection of media.

The exhibition also featured a tribute to former tutor Rod Munro, who sadly passed away last year.

Art group chairwoman Kitty Bell said she was delighted with the exhibition which had gone "beyond expectations".

She said: "We're all delighted to be back again after two years away.

"Sales and footfall were both far beyond our expectations!

"We thought that after lockdown, we might find that people were not interested, but it was the complete opposite. They all loved the hall and effect of the light filtered light through the frosted glass

"We sold 35 framed paintings and 15 unframed.

All in all it was a great success and we all enjoyed it!"

Ms Bell added that while membership had taken a hit as a result of the lockdowns, it was nevertheless beginning to climb again, adding that she hoped the exhibition had helped showcase what the group had to offer people of all abilities.

One of the visitors to the show was Moray MP Douglas Ross, who left impressed by what he had seen. .

He commented: “It was great to be able to go to Spey Bay Hall to see the Portgordon Art Group’s latest exhibition.

“I thoroughly enjoyed being back at the group’s first since the pandemic, and although their group numbers have fallen since their last exhibition, they still put on an excellent display. There really was an excellent range and variety of work on show which impressed everyone who attended.

“All credit must go to organisers and group members, who managed to put on a very successful display.”

Portgordon Art Group meet every Friday from 1pm to 3.30pm at Clochan Community Centre – all are welcome. For more information, visit the group's Facebook page.

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