61st Annual Open Exhibition 5th to 18th May 2013

Review of 61st Open Exhibition

The standard this year was once again extremely high and this sentiment was echoed by so many delighted visitors. It also had a very different look and feel compared to previous exhibitions. This is partly attributable to the fact we have a completely new selection panel each year who summon their personal expertise and experience to select a varied cross-section of work. This encompasses just about every genre through traditional, modern, abstract, decorative, representational, graphic, detailed and expressionistic.

Our 2D judges this year were:

  • Brian Innes MA RCA who lectures in textiles at Middlesex University.
  • Tim Benson ROI, a painter of dynamic portraits in oils amongst other things.
  • Ian McDonald, a successful graphic designer.

The 3D judge was:

  • Marko Humphrey-Lahti AMNS ARBS, a sculptor, who produces both figurative and abstract contemporary work.

All of these judges are successful practicing artists in their own right.

We are also very appreciative of our sponsors who so kindly contribute to the Society each year. It is a great honour and incentive to receive one of their donated awards. 

The prize winners this year were as follows:

  • The John Goss Prize for the best in show was awarded to Anne McCormack RI SWA for ‘Ed’s Kitchen’.
  • The Lady Laming Award for the best abstract was awarded to Jean Noble RI SWA for her painting ‘The Sun Retired’.
  • The Bill Dale Award for an outstanding work by a member of the Society was awarded to Kathy Burman for her collage, ‘Urban Evening’.
  • The Mayor’s Award for the best 3D work was awarded to June Pickard for her sculpture ‘Cirque de la Lune’.
  • The Edward Mason Award for the best watercolour painting was awarded to Georgina Mersh for her painting ‘Temple Church’.

There was also a Visitors’ Choice prize and this year it went to Anne Gascoine for her sculpture, ‘Cockerel 11’ which means Anne gets free membership to the Society for a year. Three works with equal votes constituted runner up: two gouache pieces by Adam Yeldham, ‘A Quiet Word’ and ‘Havana Bound’ and an oil painting by T. John Jarrett, ‘Allotment 1:Snow’.

The look of this amazing exhibition, so streamlined and professional, is only made possible by members who give up their time each year to help with the many facets of setting up the show. In particular, I would like to mention those who stewarded and those who pitched in on handing in day, pre hanging day, hanging day and collection day and who are invaluable to the exhibition’s success. A big thank you to all those who participated this year and an invitation to any members who have not done so before, to join the ranks next year. They are busy but fun days and scrumptious lunches are provided on two of them.

And for those of you who did not get your work accepted this year, do not be down hearted. Remember, next year there will be another selection committee, another way of looking at things, another chance. So…. ‘back to the drawing board’ and be productive! 

Janet Benge, Exhibition Secretary

61st Open Exhibition Prizewinners

From left to right: Councillor Jane Sartin, Mayor of Hertford; June Pickard, Award winner, Mayor of Hertford Award for best 3D work; Craig Morton, Manager of Edward Mason Ltd, sponsor/donor of award for best Watercolour; Georgina Mersh, Award winner, best Watercolour; Paul Swinge, Chairman of HAS; Jean Nobel RI SWA, Award winner, Lady Laming Award for Abstract Art; Lord Laming, sponsor of Lady Laming Award; Diana Dale: Sponsor/donor of the Bill Dale Award; Kathy Burman, Award winner, Bill Dale Award; Anne McCormack RI SWA, Award winner, John Goss award for Best in Exhibition. (Photograph: Peter Goadby-Watt)


Photographs: Peter Goadby-Watt