2023 Annual Exhibition
Venue: The Ocean, Exmouth Seafront
The 77th annual exhibition held by Exmouth Art Group in October has proven to be another resounding success, with many awards presented and a significant sum raised for this year’s chosen charity.
The event, which took place in the glamorous second floor event suite at Ocean on Exmouth seafront during 13-26 October, saw 332 framed artworks, hundreds of art cards and folios including affordable originals and prints and a large range of 3D creations, alongside a wonderful display by Exmouth Ceramic Group. The stage also showcased some excellent large pieces by students from Exmouth Community College.
This year’s guest judge was Anna Brewster, a local expressive watercolour and mixed media artist who works and teaches at Umborne Bridge Studio in Colyton. Anna spent a day reviewing all the artwork and managed to choose her top three winners as well as ten highly commended pieces from the overwhelming collection. First place was awarded to Margaret Gitsham with her evocative oil painting ‘Field of Dreams’; second place was Cherrill Bailey with ‘Beached’ in oils; and third place went to Michael Norman with his watercolour ‘Turf Locks’. Anna was so impressed with the professional quality of the exhibition and the pieces in it and marvelled at the wide range of mediums and techniques used, demonstrating the diverse and inspiring art group that the members are a part of.
Above, the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Place winners with the 1st place student's painting
Art Group President, Doug Gilding, expressed his delight at a bumper year of visitors and sales, saying “this year’s exhibition was a great success: a revised layout allowed all the paintings to be exhibited from the outset, and the Exmouth Ceramic Group to participate and complement the 3D work. Significantly, the improved electronic payment system with a slick back-office system which bar-coded all works, meant it was effectively a ‘pop-up gallery’ in the luxurious Ocean Suite location. Sales figures reflected these improvements.”
Last year’s public vote winner, Linda Bartlett, had the honour of selecting the charity to benefit from the proceeds of this year’s raffle, and chose the local branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA), and donated an original painting for the top raffle prize. Many hampers were also up for grabs and helped to raise a significant £1,500 for this very deserving charity.
The winner of this year’s public vote was local professional artist, Rebecca de Mendonca, with her pastel painting of Camargue horses in ‘A Ride on the Beach’. Rebecca was overjoyed to receive the Channel Cup trophy and said: “I am feeling so honoured to have won the Visitors Choice Award at the Exmouth Art Group 2023 Exhibition with my painting of Camargue riders on the beach. Art can help us in so many ways, and this group illustrates that on many levels. The youngest member exhibiting in the exhibition is aged 12, so the future is bright and arty in Exmouth. One of the things that I love about living in Devon is that nearly every town and village seems to have a group of people who meet regularly to produce art. The Exmouth group is thriving, with professional and leisure artists as members. The exhibition has been so well planned, presented and attended, it is all done to an extremely high standard. There is a team of very hard-working volunteers behind it all.”
Liz Swift, the volunteer exhibition coordinator, summed up the event: “I am absolutely delighted with this year’s exhibition, with a record attendance of over 2,000 visitors and an absolute buzz throughout with plenty of sales. Many of our new members have exhibited this year and we have attracted a good number of people joining the group, so next year will bring even more talent to the exhibition. Congratulations to everyone and thanks to all who contributed artwork and help throughout. It was a delight to be able to hand over a cheque to the local MND charity for £1500 thanks to the generosity of the public.”
Save the date for next year’s 78th art exhibition, which will no doubt be another delightful and successful event – 10th to 21st October.
Please browse through a selection of images from the preview evening, held on Thursday 12 October:
Guests enjoying the paintings
Space for a closer look
Guests perusing the folios
A wide range of styles on show
More artwork on display
Something for everyone!
So much choice
Hundreds of art cards on sale
Doug Gilding, President, presenting awards
Liz & Malcolm, volunteer organisers of the exhibition
Anna Brewster, Guest Judge
One of the winning paintings
Another winning painting
One of the winners of the 3D category
Winner of 3D category
Doug & winning artist of 3D category
Huge round of applause
Embracing new, professional technology
Thanks to all for coming - let's get some red dots!
Photography kindly provided by Yeti Photography, https://www.yetiphotography.co.uk/
Exhibition Coordinator Needed!
We are looking for a volunteer to work alongside Liz prior to taking over the role for 2024.
For our art group, this is a vital role, and it is important that Liz has a smooth handover. We all enjoy our successful exhibition each year, but it can’t happen without volunteers. We are always grateful for the team of helpers, but it is so important that we have someone at the helm! The role could be shared so the more hands we have to help, the lighter the workload for everyone.
Could YOU consider doing this? Please get in touch for an informal chat if you would like to find out more.
Through generous sponsorship, we are able to offer several awards. A substantial legacy left by Norah Pearse funds exhibition prizes at our major autumn event, and Clifford & Sandy Lenn and Nick & Carol Williams donated the Channel View Cup for the artist whose exhibit is voted visitors’ favourite. In recent years, two trophies have been inaugurated by retiring Presidents May Neilson and Colin Marshall. These are the Neilson Trophy for the 3D Best in Show in our major exhibition, and the Mayor’s Best in Show Trophy at the Exmouth Festival Exhibition. The President’s Award was inaugurated in 2019 by former president Gillie Newcombe – this is to recognise the artist whose exhibit is voted members’ favourite.
For competitions, a Salver donated by Paul Butler goes to the winner of Architecture and Landscape; a Cup bequeathed by the family of Neil Ashley for Monochrome Drawing, and the Roger Matthews Cup presented to the winner at our Christmas party.
We feel our members are encouraged and inspired in such a variety of ways to get creative – and you will find examples of some of their work on this website and have an opportunity to exhibit annually in October/November at the stunning Ocean venue on Exmouth seafront.