Hester Berry’s painting Ashdown Forest is the winner of the 2015 Stride Open Painting and Drawing Competition, organised by and held at the Oxmarket Centre of Arts in Chichester.
Spokeswoman Sofia Williams said: “The yearly Stride Open Competition invites artists from within the area bounded by Brighton, Southampton, Guildford and the Isle of Wight to take part in this prestigious Competition and Exhibition. This year, the winning artists come from Bognor Regis, Brighton, Chichester and Southsea, making a real ‘Stride’ across the region, bringing artists from different areas together working towards a common goal.
“The winner, Hester, (a Life drawing and painting teacher, based in brighton) gained a fine arts degree from Aberystwyth, followed by an MA at Wimbledon.”
After receiving the Stride cup and £500 prize money from Peter Parker of Strides Auctioneers at a packed preview and prize giving evening held at the Oxmarket on the 20th October, Hester said: “I am surprised and thrilled at winning the Stride Open. I found out about it from the Artist’s Newsletter and decided to enter the Competition. As I live in Brighton, I have never visited or exhibited at the Oxmarket before. It is a beautiful building and lovely space – a good place for exhibiting.”
The competition judges: “The emotional pull of the winning painting is very strong; it has a mood; it surprises us and its technique is very convincing”.
The xompetition attracted a total of 257 paintings and drawings, from which 120 were selected for prizes. As well as the Painting First Prize awarded to Hester, the following prizes were awarded (with Judges’ comments*):
Painting second prize (£300) - Penny Mossman of Chichester, ‘Watermill’ (oil), “A delightful painting that shows much skill and attention to detail with subtle touches that give it an accomplished presence*”.
Drawing Prize (£200) - Patricia Stefanski of Bognor Regis, ‘Box’ (pencil on paper), “Unanimous decision of the Judges – a drawing of some impact, showing observation and touches of great spontaneity”.
Lawrence Williams Abstract Prize (£100) – Alan Whitney of Southsea, ‘Penwith’ (oil on panel), “Unanimous decision of the Judges showing strength of shape, definition, a restricted palette with sheer intensity.*”
Three artists (Vivienne Dixon, David Fright and Barbara Shaw) were also Highly Commended for their entries.”
Sofia added: “Through this popular and exciting competition, the Oxmarket Centre of Arts and Stride Auctioneers aim to encourage and promote both new and existing artists in the area. An exhibition of the selected artworks is on show at the Oxmarket until 1st November. Don’t miss your chance to see (and buy) such superb quality, individual art from highly talented artists.”
For more information about the competition and about the Oxmarket, please go to: www.oxmarket.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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