Bouyant trends at spring exhibition
Exhibition secretary David Cromack reports on a successful opening show for 2019.
More than 2,500 visitors poured through the doors of the Stamford Arts Centre to check out a dazzling array of work. With 56 artists submitting 190 paintings, prints and sculptures, the judging panel were faced with the biggest entry in the past five years. The selection panel was headed by Robert Fogell, the wellknown sculptor who runs the Fogell Gallery in town, assisted by WVAS members Lin Chatfield, Jerome Hunt, Tony Orvis, Christina Purnell and Teresa Sands. After a great deal of consideration, the works were winnowed down to 129. Our thanks go to the hanging team of Mike Alabaster, Thaddeus Wilk, David Heeley, Jerome Hunt, Terry Preen, Chris Tomlin, John Crampin, Chris Illsley, Caroline Allen, Philip Dawson and Nick Tearle for their diligence in presenting such varied work so sympathetically. Pride of place, on the wall next to the entrance to the gallery, went to a large painting by Roy Holley entitled The Cookery Lesson, a posthumous tribute to a member who had worked tirelessly to promote the Society and art generally for so many years in the Rutland area.
The prime function of our exhibitions is to provide opportunities for members to show new work, but it is also nice when items are sold.
This time around 22 paintings and sculptures, plus 11 prints from the browsers, were bought for a total of £4,569, a considerable uplift from the Autumn 2018 exhibition. Another sign of the popularity of our exhibition was a bumper number of Visitor Vote forms. A clear winner with the public was Philip Dawson’s large and expressive painting entitled Lax Hill, Rutland Water, and it was also a hit with the editor of Leisure Painting magazine as it was featured in the August issue of this national magazine. Other artists who proved popular with our visitors included Nick Tearle, Caroline Allen and new exhibitor Pamela Mairs. Awards were presented by Deputy Mayor Breda-Mae Griffin. The Buckingham Press Award for abstract works went to Will Illsley for his painting Fishing Boats, while Christina Purnell’s terracotta sculpture Julia won the John Fountain Award for works based on life.
Artworks that were highly commended by independent judge Robert Fogell were: Caroline Allen – Fabric; Philip Dawson – Lax Hill, Rutland Water and Spring In Barnsdale Wood; Chris Illsley– Navaho; Sarah Jennings – River Bank, Pink; Judy Merriman – Pair of Onions; Christopher Metcalf – Blackfighter; Karen Neale – Tower Building, London; Terry Preen – Bright Morning Southwold Harbour.