Voted 'KERSHAW CUP' winner at 2018 Exhibition - by Penny Dron


Penny receiving the 'Kershaw Cup'

2018 Summer Exhibition Report

So I will start with the positive:

Colour sells. It must do. How different the exhibition looked this year. When you entered the hall the wall looked fantastic. We had a large number of acrylics this year, but even the
watercolours were stronger than last year. (Perhaps the visit to Weston Park persuaded some people that watercolours can also be used to convey colour). The hanging worked well, a good example being Pete Martin's heron nesting happily amongst the vibrancy of Hilary Davies and Barbara Hutchinson. A welcome resting place for the eye. All in all the exhibition looked fantastic.

And then we had what came to be called the monochrome competition. It began last December when I was fascinated with the exhibition at Nature in Art where everybody was given the same frame and mount. While Penny negotiated the loan of 30 frames, John Rix decided the topic this
year should be monochrome. It was free to enter and an extra entry so nobody had anything to lose. And what a success it was, with 27 entries and I think everybody learned something.

My stand-alone hero of the exhibition this year is without doubt Steve Tandy. From beginning to the end he has tackled woodwork, painting, A board resuscitation, picture framing, picture sitting, picture hanging, picture removal, not to mention all the duties of the heavy gang and an afternoon
stewarding. All done with a smile and an uncooperative knee. Thanks Steve. (and he entered a painting for the monochrome exhibition – the first time he has ever exhibited).

My highly commended must go to Meg Hazlehurst and Janet Green. I drafted Meg onto the exhibition committee expecting good things and got better. Her en plein air display was well thought out and a joy to behold, the results of a great deal of hard work. It looked particularly good in the corner we gave her which until now has been a bit  of an apology. Janet as you know produced posters which could hardly be missed. The remit was bright and bright we got. The A board looks fantastic and will be good for many years to come. Thanks to both of you.

So in some sort of chronological order: not only did the entries for the monochrome competition come in on time, but the pictures all arrived on time and were very ably framed by Steve and his assistant, John Rix.

Thereafter matters did not run so smoothly when my carefully planned timetable was torpedoed by the late en plein air insertions, which meant those on the coffee and cake trail didn't return to the hall for several weeks. However I have to say all entrants absolutely rose to the occasion and by hook or by crook got their entries to me on time. They came by post, they came by car, they came as attachments, they came as emails, according to entrant's level of technical competence. Katie Morgan looked to divine intervention to get hers to me! Thanks to everybody who made so much effort. By the time I had voice typed several entries and Marilyn adjusted her month's schedule, the final run-up to the exhibition was a little fraught. Couple this with the fact that six members of the exhibition committee were on holiday in the two-week run up, and you will understand why I think there is the case for rescheduling the exhibition. It is something to think about, especially as a large number of people try to get away on holiday before the schools break up and, when the weather is good, naturally the call of other people's gardens is irresistible.

Somehow though the exhibition occurred. The heavy gang as usual did their removals with the aplomb of true professionals and I don't say that lightly.

The intake on the Thursday evening did not run as smoothly as it should have for a couple of reasons and next year will need to be more controlled. However everybody got their pictures there and there were no late arrivals to be turned away on Friday, which saw the heavy gang
back at work hanging the pictures. This was a long session, which in fact ran more smoothly than last year, with Jim Mitchell patiently sticking on sticky things. The heavy gang are: John Griffin, John Rix, Steve Tandy, Pete Martin and Michael Farley, ably assisted at various times by Sean Dunne and Jim Mitchell. My huge apologies to those I've missed out.

The preview evening was again a success, possibly with even more people present. Audrey Torr with Sarah Arnold produced a beautiful spread, very elegantly laid out and it was clearly to taste as there was very little left. They were ably assisted with the washing up by Roy Smith. A big thank you to all three as this is a vital yet unglamorous contribution to the evening. The evening was opened by a local artist Kate Smith who also judged the monochrome competition. The winner was Hilary Davies, the runners up were Judy Brudenell and Sean Dunne. All wereselected for the full use of their chosen colour and their atmosphere. Most unfortunately all three were absent for the judging, which to put it mildly is embarrassing. I believe John Griffin is taking steps to prevent this happening again. As in previous years, the judge commented on the ridiculously low prices some of us charge for our paintings. I'm saying no more except that I don't understand why some people are so ashamed of their work. The members' choice was won this year by Penny Dron with her eye-catching shoreline painting. (A Seashore Walk?).

Although the footfall was down again this year, the quality of the visitors was decidedly up as we not only doubled last year's sales, but sold a good number of big and middle ticket paintings, including those in the High Street. What a joy it was to see Barbara Hutchinson sell a large canvas. She paints from the heart and freely and I hope she'll be a member for many years to come.

Of course there was a downside. I don't know if it was the heat, but a number of stewards seemed to go rogue. Naturally most of you were perfect and lovely and all very good hosts but there were some anomalies. Last year I simplified the selling process. Last year it seemed to
work just dandy and everybody was happy. So what on earth happened?

Good stewarding: the steward who spotted visitors/mountain goats clambering over the chairs to try to see the high paintings and promptly offered to bring the paintings down to them.

Good but heart in the mouth stewarding: the steward who really shouldn't but did leap onto the chairs to fetch a painting down despite the fact that he is an octogenarian. He has suggested we
get a step ladder!

Good suggestion stewarding: Ros Farley, regarding the sold column on the entry forms, suggested adding the appropriate receipt number.

Totally unnecessary but I think you were bored stewarding: putting anything else other than the sold price and receipt number in the sold column. There is no need to adorn it with red spots, green spots, paintings of the High Street, date of your grand mother's birth or anything
else. The idea is to keep everything simple and quick to work through.

What on earth were you thinking stewarding: three pictures by three different artists were not recorded on the member's entry forms. The sharp eyes of Ros Farley and Sheila Shrubb
spotted this omission or three artists may well have not received their payment. The guidelines for stewards were sent out to everybody and a copy was Sellotaped onto the desk. I don't know how I can make it any clearer.

Finally the "it has never happened before stewarding": a painting was allowed to leave the hall half paid for. The "sale" was not recorded either in the receipt book or on the artist's entry form. I am almost speechless except perhaps to say that had the purchaser for whatever reason not
been able to return two days later to pay the balance the steward might well have found themselves liable. The ATM is next door but one.

But as I say all of you were wonderful most of the time and every entrant who could steward did. To non-exhibitors I would like to point out that you benefit also from the exhibition and hopefully
you will offer to steward in the future.

Lastly my thanks to the temporary subcommittee for all their efforts which took a load off my shoulders. Meg Hazlehurst, Marilyn Brand, Penny Dron, Audrey Torr, Sarah Arnold and Valerie Bishop. You all did a wonderful job under demanding circumstances. Thank you. And yes Meg I know I am spelling your surname wrong but the state of the art voice typing app is American and it won't listen to me.













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