33rd Annual Exhibition 2022 (appearing in Hagley Village News January 2023)
Apparently, November comes around at the same time every year. And yet our Annual Exhibition seems to come as a complete surprise when it appears on the horizon, seeing the sudden flurry of activity it inspires. And then after all the panicking, and haring around like mad things and artists turning up with fabulous paintings, saying, “Well, I’ve got this, don’t know if its any good;” suddenly its there; our lovely exhibition,
And it was a lovely exhibition. We had fewer paintings this year. I’m not sure why, but although there were fewer paintings, the quality was exceptional, and the variety of styles was remarkable. It was interesting to see a lot more experimental and abstract work, which contrasted well against the excellent traditional work we have come to expect from several of our members.
The room looked cosy and inviting, and was busy for large parts of the weekend, confirming the decision to move the cafe into the exhibition space itself was the right one. Someone commented that people might spend more time eating homemade cakes and drinking tea than looking at the paintings but in fact, we found people seemed to be more relaxed, often getting up to examine something they’ve seen from a distance and even going around for a second time. And of course, some people do come in just for a cup of tea and a piece of cake, but then end up looking at the exhibition. Several people did that, and chatting with our members remembered a long-forgotten interest in art and made a decision to come along to our demonstrations, on the second Monday of every month at the Community Centre itself.
Judging for the Highly Commended Certificates was well-known local artist David DJ Johnson who commented on the difficulty in choosing only six for the certificates, as the quality of submission was so high. Eventually, he chose Winter Sunshine on the Brecon Beacons by Graham Locket,( who also won the public vote with his Boy on the Sunset Beach) Evening Walk by Andy Tromans, Handsome by Hazel Gilliard, Valeria by Sheila Hill, Indian Street by Heather Taylor and Flamenco Dancer by Mel Adams.
The public vote clearly caused visitors as much difficulty, as votes were spread over a large number of paintings, so much so that although there was a clear winner in Graham Locket’s Boy on a Sunset Beach, the votes for second and third place were shared between six artists, all with the same number of votes! We know people like to see the winning paintings but clearly, there isn’t the space in the magazine for them all, so to be fair, we will feature those on the website firstname.lastname@example.org in due course
People were surprised at the calibre of the professional artists that come to the club to deliver demonstrations and we are certainly hoping to see new faces in the months to come. Coming in January and February are our judge himself, ‘DJ’ with Acrylic Landscape in the style of Lawrence Harris and Marie Roberts with Abstract Collage in Mixed Media and a bonus Zoom Demo for members only, with Jim Power demonstrating a Harbour Scene in Oils
All in all, it was a very successful weekend, sales slightly down from last year; but there were less paintings and in the middle of a cost of living crisis it is uplifting to find that people still want to have creative images in their lives. Obviously artists do want their paintings to sell, but just having the opportunity to exhibit for people to view them is quite exciting and when someone writes the name of your painting on the best picture voting slip, well, the feeling is beyond words.
Hagley Art Club meets on the second Monday of the month at Hagley Community Centre at 7.30 for demonstrations and is open to members and non-members. For other activities please see our Facebook page and website email@example.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
New members are always welcome.
Sallie Gurney Hagley Art Club Publicist December 2022