In 1965, a group of like-minded friends led by Patricia Fay formed a small society to further their interest and knowledge in the history of art and antiques. In the course of three or four years, interest in this Society spread rapidly and, in May 1968, the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies, NADFAS, was formed in order to give help to prospective new groups. Patricia Fay very sadly died at the young age of 46 years but she lived long enough to see the mushrooming of NADFAS and the impact it made and is still making on the interest in the world of art. There are now 340 Societies in the UK and mainland Europe, three Societies in New Zealand and a sister association in Australia (AADFAS). in 2017 NADFAS was renamed the Arts Society.

Within this large family the Arts Society Portsea Island (ASPI) society (formerly PIDFAS) is blessed with an excellent location from which to deliver our service – both in terms of facilities and the ease of getting to the many fascinating decorative and fine arts venues that lie within comfortable reach. We are easily accessible by rail, road, air - and even sea! 

Our monthly meeting venue in the University of Portsmouth is not only modern and comfortable, with cinema-style seating and full digital projection facilities, but also allows us to host foyer events. Importantly, foyer events also let members mix socially and get to know one another over a drink or cup of coffee before and after meetings; we find this much enhances the appeal of an evening, especially for those who wish to grow their social circle.

ASPI prides itself on the provision of a whole package of talks, study days, outings and volunteer activities. We encourage new ventures in our foyer events, such as focusing on a local artist or recycling books and DVDs on the arts etc. between members.

Every Arts Society group has access to a sizable, Arts Society approved pool of tested and accomplished lecturers. We source our excellent lectures and study days from these talented specialists.

All of this AND membership of a flourishing international society with membership benefits such as discounts off cruises etc.! So why not visit one of our events and find out for yourself just how vibrant and interesting a society we are? If you would like to come along, please contact our Membership Secretary,, or indeed any member of the committee (see committee page). We would be delighted to see you.