A love of art has been bringing people together for nearly 100 years.

In 1919, the year after The Great War had finally drawn to an end, a group of Stockport citizens came together in hope and optimism to share a passion for art and to form what was originally known as a Guild of Arts and Crafts. Meeting in various local halls and members’ houses, they laid the foundations for what would become one of the most important and influential arts societies in the North West of England.

Stockport art guild plaque

From those origins in the early years of the last century, the Stockport Art Guild, as it became, has flourished, serving not only as a focal point for local art and artists, but also as an integral part of a wider arts community throughout the region. Indeed, the Guild has been an ever-present and thriving aspect of life in the area for almost a century now, and since 1929 has been associated with the Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery. This magnificent Grade II listed building, with its imposing colonnaded entrance, is quite probably the only gallery in the country to have been built to commemorate those who gave their lives in World War I. It was completed in 1925 for the grand sum of £24,000, which was raised entirely by voluntary public subscriptions, and gifted to the people of Stockport to enhance the cultural spirit of the borough for future generations.

Over the decades a constant aspect of the Guild’s activities has been its annual exhibition. Each year members submit work not only to show and sell, but also to promote art in general to a wider audience. And over the years there have been many fine pieces displayed that have attracted patrons and future members alike.

During the ‘50s and ‘60s, the Guild had its own studio at St. Peter’s Square in Stockport, but today our members, be they beginners or professional artists, meet regularly at the Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery to paint and draw, as well as attend workshop classes and demonstrations by visiting artists from across the country. Above all, however, we come together to uphold the spirit and enthusiasm of our founding members. To promote and nurture the same love of art that has sustained our Guild from 1919 to the present day.