Winners announced for the Grosvenor Museum's 12th Open Art Exhibition

21 March 2017

The Grosvenor Museum’s 12th Open Art Exhibition presents the best in contemporary art from the region.  

The show, which runs until 21 June, provides a diverse and stimulating exhibition for the public, vividly demonstrating the great wealth of artistic talent in the area.  With 206 exhibits by 167 artists, the exhibition presents a kaleidoscope of colours and styles, a wide range of techniques and materials, and a rich variety of subjects and moods.  There will definitely be things you will love, and maybe a few you will hate:  come and vote for your favourite.

Alison Knight, Director of Place Strategy, Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “Visitors to the exhibition are invited to vote for their favourite work, and the Visitors’ Choice will win £100.  Visitors will also be able to purchase an original work of art, since most of the exhibits are for sale.”

Three prizes have been awarded.  The First Prize of £1,000 goes to Mark Elsmore of Longsdon for his watercolour ‘One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor’.  Mark commented:  “It is early morning at Aberystwyth pier. There is a positive energy and a sense of endless possibilities.  The day is new and we can do anything.  The pier is a metaphor for self-imposed restrictions and boundaries.  Mighty ferrous legs surround us but we can look beyond them.  We raise our gaze and know that ‘One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor’.”

The Second Prize of £500 has been won by John Whitehill of Stoke-on-Trent for his oil painting ‘Left Hanging 1’. The artist said: “This piece is part of an ongoing interest I have in developing the tradition of still life painting is a personal way.  The combination of the knotted fabric folds and the directed light source gave me an ideal arrangement for painting.”

The Third Prize of £250 has been awarded to Helen Pearse of Didsbury for her oil painting ‘The Transience of Childhood’. Helen explained: “I wanted to express something about the transient nature of childhood.  Charlie was sitting waiting to hear whether he had been successful in his senior school entrance exams.  It seemed to be the end of an era for both of us and I wanted to mark the passing of time with this portrait.”

Also highly commended were Les Heywood of Marple, Jo Jenkins of Chester, David Lawton of Chester, Ann Lewis of Bethesda, Noel McCready of Conwy, Clive McWilliam of Chester and Ondre Nowakowski of Sandbach. 

The museum is collaborating with Funky Aardvark for ‘Not the Grosvenor Museum Open’.  Bex Raven, Chief Aardvark at Funky Aardvark, said: “The Grosvenor Museum Open receives hundreds of entries, and sadly not all the pieces can be hung.  Funky Aardvark has the answer.

 ‘Not the Grosvenor Museum Open’ is an exhibition of artworks the museum could not fit in. Visit the exhibition and see if you agree with the judges’ choice and vote for your favourites to award the Aardvark visitors choice. Our exhibition runs until 6 May, with prize-giving on 29 April”. Funky Aardvark, at 61 Bridge Street Row East, is open Tuesday – Sunday (except Easter Day) 10am - 5pm.

Another associated exhibition is ‘Digital Open’ at Chester Library, running until 30 April.  This presents artworks from multi-media artists David Cotterrell, Nayan Kulkarni and Patricia MacKinnon-Day alongside digital artworks from the University of Chester. 
Funky Aardvark is running weekly workshops:
  • Drawing Skills
  • Watercolour Painting
  • Life Drawing
  • Acrylic Painting
The museum’s programme of accompanying adult events includes:
  • Thursday 18 May, Exhibition tour with Peter Boughton
  • Thursday 25 May, ‘The Shock of the New: Modernism in Art’ lecture by Adrian Sumner
  • Tuesday 6 June, A soirée with Alistair Tucker RBSA
There is also a programme of family activities at the museum:
  • Tuesday 4 April, Tiny Art
  • Saturday 8 April, Slow Art Day
  • Tuesday 11 April, Map the World for Earth Day
  • Thursday 13 April, Easter Bonnets and Baskets
  • Tuesday 30 May, Art Puzzle
  • Wednesday 31 May, Light and Shade Craft Day
  • Thursday 1 June, Digital Take-over Day
‘The Grosvenor Museum’s 12th Open Art Exhibition’ was selected by Dr Maxine Bristow, Programme Leader MA Fine Art, University of Chester; John Renshaw, Emeritus Professor of Fine Art, University of Chester; and Peter Boughton, Keeper of Art, West Cheshire Museums.  It was opened by Sarah Maxfield, Area Director North, Arts Council England.  ‘Not the Grosvenor Museum Open’ was juried by Bex Raven MA, Director Funky Aardvark; John McClenaghen, Programme Leader BA(Hons) Fine Art and MFA, School of Creative Arts, Wrexham Glyndwr University; and Bernadine Murray, Deputy Head Art & Design, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Graphic Design at the University of Chester.  

The Grosvenor Museum is open Monday – Saturday 10.30-5 and Sunday 1-4, admission free, donations welcome.  

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