Hertford Art Society 66th Open Exhibition

May 6th to 19th 2018

The style of this Exhibition varies year by year. The selection of work for a place in the Exhibition is made by a panel of four eminent, practising artists who are completely independent of the Society. This year we were delighted to welcome Abel Kestevan, David Sawyer and David Ord-Kerr as judges for 2D work and Jim Brown as the judge for 3D items. The range of expertise and opinion of the judges and the wide variety of work submitted each year, ensures that each show has a unique mix of artworks. This year 145 artists submitted 562 items for consideration. 269 2D works were selected for hanging and these, together with 27 sculptures and 3D items provided visitors with a diverse, colourful and exciting 66th Open Exhibition at Cowbridge Halls.

The exhibits included etchings, lino and screen prints; digital images; oils, acrylics and watercolours; pastel, pencil, charcoal and ink; collage; 3 D works in a variety of materials. A quiz helped to keep children engaged as they searched for elusive entities. There was something for everyone: atmospheric landscapes, townscapes and seascapes, abstracts, figures busily texting, storytelling or on a busy pedestrian crossing., still life images (abundant fruits, flowers, melons and jugs), butterflies, puffins and elephants. Some works were delicate, others rich in colour and boldly executed. Many, this year were in monochrome, ranging from large pen and ink scenes to exquisite life studies in pencil. Additional works were displayed at other venues in Hertford.

Open for an entire fortnight the exhibition attracted many visitors from a wide area. Hundreds of visitors cast their votes for their favourite exhibit - the winner was Storm over NYC by Chris Hewitt. The joint runners up were The River Beane, Hartham Common by Fiona White and 42nd and Lexington by Michael Lawrence.

Thanks go to all the people who contributed in making this, the 66th Open Exhibition, such a success - it was another exciting and popular show.

Award Winners

  • The John Goss Prize for the painting the judges considered best in show - 'Punk Portrait', William Carney.
  • The Lady Laming Award for Abstract Art - 'Still Life', Brian Innes.
  • The Bill Dale Award is chosen from works by Members who regularly support the whole of the Society's activities - 'Blue Storyteller', Marianne Dorn.
  • The Mayor's Award for the best 3D work sponsored by The Arts Society East Herts - Crouching Hare', Anne Gascoigne. Commendations were awarded to Kathy Burman for “Labyrinth Echo” and to Maria-Luisa Wilkings for “TheScrum”.
  • The Edward Mason Brushes Award for the best watercolour - 'Vaporetto Venice', Andy Lee.
  • Visitors’ Choice Award - ‘Storm over NYC”, Chris Hewitt. The joint runners up were The River Beane, Hartham Common by Fiona White and 42nd & Lexington by Michael Lawrence.

John Goss Prize for Best in Show, William Carney, 'Punk Portrait'.

Lady Laming Award for Abstract Art, Brian Innes, 'Still Life'.

Bill Dale Award, Marianne Dorn, 'Blue Storyteller'.

The Mayor's Award – best 3D, Anne Gascoigne, 'Crouching Hare'.

Commendations were awarded for
The Mayor's Award – best 3D
Kathy Burman
'Labyrinth Echo'

Commendations were awarded for
The Mayor's Award – best 3D
Maria-Luisa Wilkings for

The Edward Mason Brushes Award – Best Watercolour, Andy Lee, 'Vaporetto Venice'.

Visitors’ Choice Award, Chris Hewitt, ‘Storm over NYC'.

Joint runners up
Visitors’ Choice Award
Fiona White
'The River Beane, Hartham Common'

Joint runners up
Visitors’ Choice Award
Michael Lawrence
'42nd & Lexington'

Art Society Members’ Art Show and Sale

27th - 29th October 2017

This was the 20th Members' Show and the third to be held at The Cowbridge Hall in Hertford. It was open over three days from 27-29th October (with a preview on the 26th) and showed work by 64 artists. Twenty two framed works were sold, also 11 unframed and 110 cards.

This is a show which is always a joy to visit, as our visitors regularly tell us. There is such a wide variety of subject matter and painting styles and the standard of work is high. So much to see - so difficult to choose a favourite (the Visitors' Choice voting box held over 225 votes!). The tea stall (offering home made cakes) at the back of the hall was a good place to sit and admire the paintings. There were portraits, like Anthony Parke's masterly 'Edward Lucie-Smith' and Sharon Wright's gentle and delightful portrait of an elderly person, 'Blue'. Glorious landscapes such as Rosemary Tinney's ' Burnham Overy Staithe' with its luminous sky, and Linda Radford's glowing watercolour scenes (she sold out!). Animal paintings, like Malini Croxson's extraordinary red and white zebras, 'Tangled' and Margo Ward's colourful and lively 'Hens in the Snow'. There was finely painted work such as Paul Swinge's 'Goldfinch and Pot' and Christine Flintham's 'Rosehips' and more expressionist work which describes the scene in a few expert brush strokes and colours such as David Quantrill's 'Carlton Marshes'. June Pickard's sculpture 'What on Earth' used an abstract form to describe the many textures and features found on the planet - fascinating: I wish we had more sculptors exhibiting! An unusual entry this year was a 3D miniature train layout with the countryside depicted (by Gillian Harman) in the style and colours of David Hockney, which created a lot of interest. At this stage I have to stop and apologise to all those artists who remain unnamed here. Their work was certainly appreciated.

Our prizewinners were as follows:

The May Bennett Annual Award for the best still life:
'Stella's Pots' by Sandra Edney Lynch.
A still life with harmonious colours and a rich surface.


The Most Intriguing Work Award, selected by Mark Ely:
'Abstract' by Maureen Emerton.
Another very rich surface which drew you in to explore the shapes and colours.


The Visitors' Choice Award:
'The Quiet before the Storm' by Alyson Sharpe.
A little girl on the beach, her back to us - a lovely image, beautifully painted.


The Members' Choice Award:
'Tabletop with Mosaic Vase' by Kathy Burman.
Kathy is a master of the mosaic-like collage and this was a lovely example.


The Marie Goldsmith Annual Award:
for a Member with a consistently high standard of work who has served the Art Society well without formal recognition of their work or service: 'Tunnel at Stapleford' by Geoff Bennett.
This strong and colourful image graced our posters this year.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the help of so many Members of the Society, who worked long and hard to make the show a success. If you missed the show this year, make a note in your 2018 diary. We will be back again for the last weekend of October.

Frances Stevenson
Members' Show Co-ordinator