The FCSA Annual Exhibition 2023 took place on 8th & 9th September with the opening Reception Evening on Thursday 7th September, which was attended by the Mayor of Surrey Heath, Councillor Pat Tedder, who opened the event. For the second week in September there was a heatwave and the surprisingly hot weather may have accounted for visitor numbers being a little down on last year. Nonetheless, several paintings and portfolios were sold as well as numerous members’ cards, hand painted coasters and scarves.
The Themed Competition this year was “Old & New”. It was won by Lesley Kilner for her painting “St Paul’s from New Change Street”. This beautiful painting went on to win the The Gerry & Jill Seward Award, also known as the People’s Choice. Lesley can be seen holding the trophy for the Themed Competition and she will be presented the silver cup for the People’s Choice at the society’s AGM in February.
Graham Scandrett was President of Frimley & Camberley Society of Arts for many years. The Graham Scandrett Prize for the best oil/acrylic painting was being offered for the first time this year by Ruth Scandrett, his widow. Tracey Allen won the prize, a gift token of £150 for art materials from Pullingers art shop in Farnham. Her painting is called “Seascape”. The Runners Up Prize of £100 was won by Liz Seward, who is the current President of FCSA. She is seen here with the Mayor and her painting “Lightwater Silver Birch”.
The prize for best pastel painting is The Valerie Brooks Memorial Prize in memory of Valerie Brooks who was a very talented pastel artist. This year the prize went to Brian Hammans for his painting “South Wheal Frances Mine”.
Valerie Brooks’ family commissioned a special glass trophy for the prize and Brian Hammans can be seen in the photograph below accepting it from the FCSA Chairman, Peter Tuitt.
In recent years the Committee has offered a prize for a set subject and this year the subject was for the best landscape. It was won by Maureen Hayward for her painting “Smeerenburg Glacier”.
The Winsland Award is the prize for the best Watercolour/Mixed Media painting in the exhibition. It is generously sponsored by Mrs Leonie McGuigan to the sum of £100. At the time of selecting the winning paintings for the various categories of competitions the judge was unaware that the painting he chose for the Winsland Award was by Valerie Painter, who very sadly died earlier this summer. It was agreed to exhibit her paintings in the Annual Exhibition and when her painting “Moth Orchid” was selected by the judge for the Winsland prize, it was awarded posthumously.
The judge this year was Mick McNicholas who kindly stayed on for the Reception Evening and was keen to tell everyone how difficult he had found it to select the winning paintings. He took the opportunity to mention a number of other artists by name whose paintings had stood out to him as being of recognisable style and quality.
Special thanks should go to a new member of our society, Greg Ward, for providing the transport at the end of the exhibition and to Janet Wilson who so kindly allows the Society to store the boards in her garage. Here is Greg with Liz Seward, the President and Peter Tuitt, the Chairman, at the Reception Evening on Thursday.
Thanks should also go to all the people who helped to build the stands despite the inordinately hot September weather: Terry Ralph ( supervising ) John Stacey, Alan Stoney, Sue & Craig Whitehead, Patti Dutton & her son Arron, and Peter Tuitt. Thanks also to those on the handing in desk and those involved in the hanging of the paintings : Liz Seward, Maureen Haywood, Brian Hammans, Patti Dutton, Carole Head and Christine Kaynes. Perhaps a special award should go to Lesley Kilner, who manned the sales desk for most of the exhibition and who together with her husband sorted out the monies. Here they are hard at work together.
Those who prepared and served the Pimm’s for the Reception Evening are always much appreciated. Thanks to Sue Whitehead and Jane Disney and any others who helped out there. Of course there were also all the stewards and runners over the course of the exhibition whose help is vital and gratefully received.
The Reception Evening was well attend by lots of old friends, new faces and family groups. Here is a great photo that captures the celebratory atmosphere of Olga Salgado, our webmaster, her husband and friends. Olga will be responsible for transferring many of the paintings in the exhibition to the On-line exhibition which will be on the website shortly.
Special recognition and thanks must go to our local sponsors:
Howlands estate agents,
Bridgeview dental surgery,
Village eye clinic,
The Fish Shop, Camberley,
Martin Lamb & Sons greengrocer and fruiterers
Finally, thank you to Alan Meeks who has photographed the Reception Evening on many occasions. Most of the photographs here are thanks to Alan, including this last one when he caught a few of the committee with Liz Seward having a bit of fun at the end of the Reception Evening.