Winners Announced for Exhibition Awards & Mayor Purchases Town Hall Painting

The Old Fire Station Gallery was brimming with artists from the Reading Guild of Artists on Friday evening to see their work being exhibited and to find out who had won the two awards for best 2D and 3D art.  60+ artists and 150+ artworks are on display and for the first time the Guild had to have a selection committee to whittle down the submitted artworks.
Dr Hannah Lyons Curator of Art Collections at the University of Reading was invited to be the judge of the awards.  At the University they have large collection of artworks which include former members of the Reading Guild of Artists whom Hannah has been researching. She said, “It’s been very difficult to judge.  When I came into the gallery, it was jaw-dropping and I wandered around the exhibition a few times before I decided on who the winners would be because of the different styles and the techniques and I was slightly overwhelmed.  It is no nice to see so many different techniques working in and it’s been nice to be here during the afternoon when the public have been here and talking to them about their experience.  There’s a really high standard.”
Henley Mayor, Councillor Sarah Miller attending the preview party on Friday evening and purchased a work by Janina Maher of Henley Town Hall.  She said, “I thought it was a beautiful pen and watercolour picture of the Town Hall.  It’s bright and really rather quaint.  I was immediately attracted to it and the detail is spot on.  All it needs is my little face sticking round the door.  People should come and see the exhibition as there are some great artists and some great artwork at reasonable prices.”
Shirley Smith won Pauline Mercier Award (3D work) for her ceramics Skoria Oranje & Scoria Turkoois.  Shirley said, “A friend had bought a larger version of the vase to celebrate her being awarded an MBE a couple of weeks ago. That was best thing until today. I was really shocked to win this award.  I’ve been doing ceramics for 35 years but only been selling since last September.  The first piece I sold was at this exhibition last year.  I haven’t won an award since I won one for swimming when I was at school!  I only started using this clay the last couple of months and I’ve in love with it.”
Jenny Halstead won the Marie Dyson Award (2D work) for her beautiful pastel painting Savaged Olive Grove: Sicily.  Unfortunately Jenny wasn’t at the party to accept the award.

‘Continuum – Art in the Flow’ continues until Tuesday 1 August, where visitors can see all the award winning work and can vote for their own favourite piece. There is also an opportunity to ‘meet the artist’ as each day the exhibition will be hosted by different exhibiting artists who will be happy to talk about their work and their artistic practice.


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