The Stratford Arts Society opened its biggest exhibition, featuring a diverse range of artwork in a myriad of styles and medium, earlier this month.

More than 300 works have been packed into the gallery, with 196 wall works.

This group has been a creative incubator for young and emerging artists in the region for more than 50 years now, says society president Rhonda Bunyan.

"What started as a way to bring together a community of like-minded creatives has morphed into a thriving artistic collaboration of more than 150 artists."

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While the Society runs workshops and has social events it is the opportunity to exhibit twice a year in a modern gallery that makes being a part of the art society so alluring to many.

Rhonda says the society provides a nurturing environment for those artists who have never exhibited their art publicly before.

"It can be a scary experience for a new artist. They often have doubts about their art, whether anyone will like it, and whether it's good enough. We welcome new artists with open arms, and encourage them. We are a warm bunch of folk and will always assist with any issues the artist might have with their work.

'Not all new artists are young, of course. We often find that 'retired' people who have always had a yen to create art, whether it is painting, potting or creative fibre, come to it later in life when their time is freed up.

"Stratford Art Society has artwork for sale at very reasonable prices and it is a good opportunity to buy for Christmas. You are also supporting local artists and the work is individual, unique and has been made with love."

The exhibition runs until Sunday, December 8.