Salcombe Art Club, affectionately called the Loft studio, was born in 1960, when a small group of enthusiastic painters rented a disused sail loft in the heart of Salcombe. Built of stone and approached outside by a flight of stone steps, it has one of the oldest pubs on one side and the Lifeboat quay on the other. Electricity and water were soon installed and gradually the membership grew to over a hundred.
In 1980, the shipwright owner put the loft up for sale but he generously gave us first refusal and a whole year to raise the money. We all began seriously money- raising and those with the expertise, set about the complicated business of applying for grants. The Foundation for Sport and the Arts gave us a large sum and we are now the proud owners of the flying freehold of this heritage corner of Salcombe.
We began to make many improvements and the architects among our membership, installed central heating, a toilet and tea bar for those essential cups of coffee. The addition of two printing presses opened up a new field and we now have a working print studio.
Over the next two decades, the roof began to need serious repair and we were again raising money and tracking down grants. This year we have completely replaced the old asbestos roof , added skylights, double glazed windows, new flooring, insulation and wiring. The space is now fully refurbished and full of light, welcoming visitors to our six month long, summer exhibition.
The loft is now a warm and pleasant place for us to paint in during the winter months, when we have classes in all media, printmaking, life drawing classes, and workshops run by visiting artists and occasional social events.