Leicester Sketch Club named Art Club of the Year 2016

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Leicester Sketch Club named Art Club of the Year 2016

Leicester Sketch Club have been named Art Club of the Year 2016 in our first ever art club competition.

Our first Art Club of the Year competition proved a huge success, with 50 UK art clubs entering five works from different members to represent them.

From these 50, ten clubs were selected to exhibit the works at this year's Patchings Festival of Art, Craft & Photography which took place from June 9 - 12.

On the final day of the exhibition, artist and regular contributor to The Artist magazine, Hazel Soan, selected the overall winners as Leicester Sketch Club, and the two runners-up as Gateshead and Guildford Art Societies.

Hazel explained the reasons for her choices saying:

'Our new annual competition was looking for the art club that could show, with just five paintings chosen democratically by the group, the ethos, variety and level of ability that they felt best represented their group. I am used to judging artists’ work on individual merit and artists tend to work alone, but within art history many groundbreaking movements became valued because a group of artists worked alongside each other with common goals and created something bigger together than the sum of their parts. The paintings in this competition were submitted by the team members fielded by the art groups, each revealing their individual strengths and expertise in ways that enhanced each other and created a strong and cohesive whole. To win they needed to work together.'

The winning art club, Leicester Sketch Club win £500 of Jackson's Art Supplies vouchers, to spend on art materials for the clubs use, as well as a sponsored demonstration by an artist tutor of their choice. Both Gateshead and Guildford Art Societies win £250 of Jackson's Art Supplies vouchers.


We also asked visitors to the exhibition to vote for their favourite selection of work for the People's Choice Award, this was also presented to Leicester who receive an additional £100 worth of vouchers from Jackson's.

First Prize - Leicester Sketch Club

The Leicester Sketch Club was founded in 1898 and is one of Leicester's oldest art clubs. The Club has over 100 members ranging from professional full time artists to developing part time artists and aims to encourage the artistic development of each.

It meets on the first Wednesday of every month for a programme including demonstrations, talks and critiques. Throughout the year, it has a full schedule of workshops, indoor and outdoor sketching days plus an annual exhibition.

Despite its name, its members' main activity is painting in every possible medium.

Several of our members belong to nationally recognised bodies such as the Royal Institution of Water Colour Painters, the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) the Leicester Society of Artists. Many exhibit their work locally, regionally and at venues such as the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Royal West of England Academy and the Mall Galleries.

More information can be found on our website: www.leicestersketchclub.co.uk

Boats at Blakeney by Susan Sansome

Red Alert by Jill Hailes

Exit by Scott Bridgewood

Poppies and Scuttle by Janet Singer

Anna by Tony Dwyer

Hazel said; 'Leicester Sketch Club won first prize because the five paintings entered worked together perfectly as a team. They showed a wide variety of media, a broad range of styles and each represented different subject matter. Each emphasised a different aspect of painting: Boats at Blakeney, the power of line and perspective; Red Alert, colour and harmony; Exit, tone and form; Poppies and Scuttle, shape and texture; the portrait of Anna, character and expression.

'The inclusion of each painting, excellent in itself, enhanced the others and made the whole group stronger. The artists in the art group obviously enjoy observation, drawing and challenge and they demonstrate a spirit of adventure.'

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Gateshead Art Society

Gateshead Art Society was formed in 1947 and meets in the workshop at the Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead.

We have about 30 members from various backgrounds, retired art teachers, architects, policemen, doctors, joiners and deep-sea divers, who produce 2 and 3 dimensional work in response to a varied programme of events.

We have demonstrations of techniques and media by local artists, DVDs, illustrated talks, crits of our work, painting and drawing from life models and time set aside, simply to work and talk about art.

We have two major exhibitions of our work during the year, a summer exhibition in St Mary’s Heritage Centre overlooking the Sage and the River Tyne in August and our main exhibition held at the Shipley art gallery in November/December.

For more information and examples of our work, please visit our website:- www.gatesheadartsociety.org.uk

Cats Cradle by Aubrey Anderson

Fisherman's Bay by Tim Griffiths

Just Out of the Windows by Karen Scott

Sage Interior 1 by Joe McGregor

Trees at Arcot Hall by Audrey Drynan

Of Gateshead Art Society Hazel said: 'This team of paintings showed a variety of media, style and content which each enhanced the other through the obvious love and understanding of tone and a joy of pattern. The set had many narratives throughout, exhibiting a calming lyricism.'

Guildford Art Society

Guildford Art Society must be one of the oldest creative societies in the country with its early beginnings in 1923. The first exhibition was held in November 1925. The annual subscription was 5/- . The exhibition was opened by Mrs Watts from Compton and two paintings by her late husband, Mr G.F.Watts, were exhibited for the first time. The most expensive painting at £30 was by Mr S.H.Sime. It is interesting to note that there is an exhibition of works by Mr S.H.Sime permanently on display at the Sime Memorial Gallery in Worplesdon, a Guildford parish.

Other exhibitors in 1925 included Mr E.H. Shepard and his wife; Mr Shepard is famous of course for his illustrations in Winnie the Pooh and Punch Magazine; Margaret Tarrant a talented illustrator, well recognised for her fairy like images in children’s books and postcard designs for Medici Cards

In 1928, it was agreed that as the annual exhibition was now so popular that nothing smaller than the Borough Hall would do. It is worth noting that six entries were by Sir Edwin Lutyens but were not for sale!

In 1930 the exhibition was opened by General Lord Baden Powell. From then until 1937 the Society was very active and apart from the war years continued with annual exhibitions.

For 1960 the annual exhibition arrived at its present home at Guildford House Gallery, 155, High Street, a fascinating 17th century Grade 1 Listed town house, where it has remained until today. The new Chairman was Edward Wesson, one of the greatest watercolourists of the twentieth century.

Ted Wesson remained as Chairman for many years. Several of his paintings are now in the Guildford Borough Collection. Other members of the Society also have work in the Borough Collection, including Pauline Dean, botanical artist and holder of 7 gold medals from the RHS, Margaret Howarth and her superb drawings of old Guildford, Margaret Palmer, portraitist, Juliet Renny, local artist, book designer and illustrator, and our President Jane Allison, a National portraitist having recently completed works of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Archbishop Sentinou.

That is a quick summary of our illustrious past! Today the Society has approximately 300 members, painters, sculptors, ceramicists and craftsmen both professional and amateur. Our youngest member is 15years old and our eldest is 100 years old and still painting. Talent abounds and many of our members exhibit at national exhibitions including Roger Dellar ROI RIPS, John Bryce SWE RE, Christine Charlesworth RBS SWA, Jo Quigley MA, Sera Knight SWA and Rosemary Miller SWA to name but a few.

We have a busy programme of talks, demonstrations, workshops during the winter months and outdoor painting days during the Summer. Two meetings are held weekly for members to paint together and many are active on our Facebook page. We hang two exhibitions annually for artworks in all media. The Spring Exhibition is open to all our members and an opportunity for them to exhibit their work at Guildford House. A panel of external professional artists selects the Autumn Exhibition. Both exhibitions are acknowledged by selectors, visitors and press to be of a very high standard and are both eagerly anticipated and well attended.

Busty by Juliet Renny

Cow Parsley by Jean Ellis

Field Edge by Judy Coleman

Painted Dog by Fiona Champion

Pastmasters by Nathaniel Fowles

On selecting Guildford Hazel said: 'This group entered five individually excellent paintings. They fulfilled the brief in that they represented a variety of media, content and showed the level of ability, scope and diversity of the group. The paintings were all dynamic: the egg tempera urban scene particularly exciting; the portrait mesmorising; the two landscapes offering delicate detail and bold brushstrokes and the wild dog, drama. However, while all five were beguiling individual statements they didn’t hang together as a cohesive a group as strongly as the winning selection.'

Clubs exhibited at Patchings Festival of Art, Craft and Photography

Battle & District Art Club

Larch by Les Needham

Owl by Kerry Bennett

Painter Painted by Carol Selby-Lownde

RX134 by Anthony Lightly

Sunflowers and Fruit by Theresa Hall

Romsey Art Club

Butterfly by Paul Ryan

Marmalade Time by Wendy Jelbert

New Forest Pony Drift by Alan Langford

Summer by Martin Mitchel

The Old Custom House by Ron Moody

Fareham Art Club

Crabbing with Clive by Wendy Saunders

Fuerteventura by Paul Stovold

Sophie by Andrea Robbins

Sumatran Ambush by Marion Priddy

Wet, Busy day in New York by Becky Falstein

Dupont Art Club

Cuckmere Low Tide 2 by Jannette Ballard

Fola by Diane Farris

Old Crocs Race by Pam Monk

Three Deckchair People by Sandra Emery

Virginia Creeper by Terri Micklam

Ringwood Art Society

Are we There Yet? by Ann Squire

Colmers Hill by Tony Clegg

Lap of Luxury by Michael Clare

Low Tide, Brixham by Colin Richens

Self Portrait with Bee by Danny Byrne

The Wildlife Art Society International

Autumn Hare by Tracy Ann Sich

Puffins and Flora of South Stack by John Horton

Reed Stalker by Sarais Crawshaw

Starling Behaviour by Julie Cross

Waiting for Darkness by Mandy Baykaa-Murray

Milton Keynes Society of Artists

Lemon Tea by Charmian Hayes

Open Window by Jim Coggins

Playing the Banjo by David Wells

Salcombe Boatyard by Alan Chown

Swan by Karen House

Look out for details of next year’s Art Club of the Year Competition and start discussing your club’s entries now!


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