Oswestry and District Society of Artists was formed in 1978 when a group of 50 art enthusiasts gathered together at the town’s Memorial Hall.

ODSA was the brainchild of Dick Hughes who became the first Chairman and by January of the following year a programme had been drawn up for the 47 fully paid up members.

The first indoor painting meetings were successfully held in the Trinity Mission Hall and were later transferred to warmer premises at the Memorial Hall. Other venues have included the Christ Church Meeting Room, North Shropshire College, Upper Brook Street and the Eastern Oswestry Community Centre. Oswestry’s light and airy Cricket Club has recently been added to the list of venues for the Society.

Outdoor painting sessions were also held on private property, alongside canals and at local beauty spots. The Society continues to organise sketching and painting days outdoors.

Other activities included evening demonstrations and video evenings and a popular annual review and criticism evening.

The Society went from strength to strength, holding two main exhibitions each year – a summer exhibition at the town’s Memorial Hall and a winter exhibition, first at the Oswestry Library and then at the Heritage Centre near to the Parish Church. In more recent years the Society has also staged a Christmas exhibition at the town’s Willow Gallery.

A popular exhibition at Chirk Castle in May also appeared on the programme. This, together with the Memorial Hall summer exhibition now forms the backbone of the exhibition calendar.

To celebrate the Society’s 25th year, a commemorative mug was given to every paid up member, a free coach trip to the Salford Lowry Gallery was organised and a subsidised cheese and wine evening with slides and effects of Van Gogh was held.

To mark the anniversary, £500 was contributed to Rhyn Park School when it made its successful bid to become an Arts College. New overhead arc lights were bought for the 25th summer exhibition.

ODSA’s current programme still reflects the aims of the original committee and several founding member s still play an active part in the Society’s many activities.