Continuing the proud tradition of showcasing their work, members of Huddersfield Art Society are currently preparing for their 118th exhibition.

The work of more than 40 artists – 100 paintings and pictures in all – selected by watercolour artist Peter Woolley, will be seen at Huddersfield Art Gallery from September 20 until October 25.

The society, which was founded in 1890, is one of the oldest of the town’s artistic organisations and as such has long had a mission to encourage the development of the arts. This year it has launched a new scheme to support young, aspiring artists heading for university.

Linda Downs, the society’s exhibition secretary, explained: “Each year we give out the Hamer Award to benefit young people studying art and we used to make an award to students from Kirklees College or the university.

“But now we have decided to give scholarships to sixth form students, two prizes in each of the three sixth form colleges in Huddersfield, towards the cost of art materials and their further education.”

The Hamer Award is named after John James Hamer, whose wife made a bequest in his memory to the society in 1964. The exhibition will also serve as a way to engage the public in art.

Running alongside the show on Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings, society members will be demonstrating their skills – in watercolours, lino cutting techniques, machine embroidery and alkyd painting (a fast-drying oil medium). And on the closing day, Saturday, October 25, the society is hosting an open event, Sketch in the Library and Gallery. Part of the national Campaign for Drawing’s Big Draw initiative in October, it is for those who want to flex their artistic muscles, perhaps for the first time.

“We will provide all the materials and people will be able to draw anything they see in the gallery, or even the pictures on the walls,” said Linda.

Huddersfield Art Society has over 100 members, among them some who have clocked up more than 50 years of membership. It meets at Gledholt Methodist Church twice a month on alternate Saturdays for demonstrations and workshops. There are also life drawing and portrait groups within the society, which meet on a weekly basis from September to May.

Most of the work in the show is for sale.

Publicity material for this year’s exhibition features the winner of last year’s public vote for the most popular picture – Dignity by Trevor Ferguson. Among those showing will be John Elliot, who was the winner of last year’s Eleanor Sykes award; Jill Moynan, who took The Calder Graphic prize; and Andrew Jenkin, who was awarded the Frames and Galleries Prize.

For more about the society go to