Art nouveau draws the crowds to see exhibit at the De La Warr Pavilion

'Pioneer' by Penny Fawkner SUS-160609-122444001
'Pioneer' by Penny Fawkner SUS-160609-122444001

The exhibition, which ran over Bank Holiday weekend (August 27-29), was opened on Saturday August 27 by Bexhill Art Society (BAS) Chairman Roy Cox.

Roy welcomed guests including Rother District Councillors (RDC) Mayor Simon Elford, Chairman Paul Osborne, Chairman of East Sussex County Council Michael Ensor and The Reverend David Reynish, Team Rector of St Peter’s church Bexhill.

Roy gave a brief outline of the society’s history and then those present gave a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ to Terry Carter, founder of the Bexhill Art Society fifty five years ago.

Terry was celebrating his ninety first birthday and, by coincidence, there were exactly ninety one people in the room.

Reverend David Reynish formally announced the exhibition ‘open’ and guests then had the opportunity to peruse the exhibits. Roy says this year it had been even more difficult to pick a winner. “Judging (by the public) of the individual artists paintings for the Best in Show Prize was very difficult as the standard of the paintings was so high,” he said.

The Best in Show accolade was awarded to Christine Verrijden, a new member to the Society who was exhibiting for the first time. Christine was presented with the The Terry Carter Cup for her picture ‘Spring in Bexhill Highwoods’ in acrylic.

It was an all girls show when it came to the prizes. The De La Warr Pavilion Prize was won by Tricia Williams for her picture of ‘Singapore Old and New’ in oils.

The Judge Sampson Prize was won by Diane Woolley for her picture of ‘At the Gallops’ in ink.

And the Jerwood Prize was won by Ella Hodson for two of her pictures ‘French Market’ and ‘Auvergne Village’ in pen and wash. Roy said: “These ladies were thrilled that their hard work in the four different paintings using four different mediums had been recognised and appreciated.

“As paintings were bought red dots began to appear in earnest. The portfolio racks caught the attention of many of our nine hundred and sixty visitors; many pouring over various pictures before making a purchase.”

A good selection of cards was also on display. Close to 1,000 visitors attended the exhibition and Roy says many had said that the friendly atmosphere in the Studio made them feel very welcome, adding: “In The Comments Book visitors praised the standard of the work and the friendliness of the stewards and demonstrators.”

The exhibition resulted in fourteen artists selling 24 pictures making a grand total of £1,320 plus £200 worth of cards.

Throughout the weekend a raffle, with prizes donated by members along with a pair of Leisure Club tickets donated by The Cooden Beach Hotel, proved popular.

Roy says BAS is grateful to RDC for their grant which helped to make the exhibition possible, adding: “We would also like to thank the De La Warr staff for their help.”

Much appreciation and many thanks were shown to Roy and his wife Rosemary, together with the Committee, and Members who voluntarily gave up their time to organise and help over the weekend.

Roy added: “It was a highly successful exhibition and one to remember.”

The society meets on the first Saturday of each month (except January) at St Augustine’s Church Hall, St Augustine’s Close. Professional artists are invited to give demonstrations in a variety of mediums.

Visitors always welcome. For further details visit the website at: www.bexhillartsociety.co.uk or call Roy on 01424 211473 or email royricecox@yahoo.com