Curator, art critic and writer Nicholas Usherwood will be opening this year’s Bath Society of Artists Summer Exhibition at the city’s Victoria Art Gallery from 6 July – 31 August 2013.
Now in its 108th year this hugely popular exhibition is one of the highlights of the Gallery’s calendar and assembles the cream of regional artistic talent. Any artist aged 18 or over may submit work for selection via the website www.bsartists.co.uk to be in with the chance of winning a prize.
Many prizes are up for grabs including the Bath Society of Artists Prize of £1,000, the Bristol Guild Prize of £250 for a 3-D work and the Harry Walker ‘RWA’ Young Artist Prize of £250, awarded to artists aged 18-25. There are also smaller prizes for graphics, watercolour, small paintings, drawing and a £100 framing prize from the Meltone Gallery, Bath.
Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “Bath & North East Somerset Council is proud to welcome the Bath Society of Artists Summer Exhibition to the Victoria Art Gallery once again. Visitors can prepare to be dazzled by the talent and sheer diversity of the works that will be on display, all of which are for sale.”
During the exhibition members of the public will be invited to vote for their favourite art work, with the winner of the Bath Society of Artists People’s Choice Award receiving £500.
The Society was founded in 1904 with 26 members. It has grown over the years to a membership of around 120 diverse, talented artists. The annual exhibition, which is open to non-members, attracts about 1,000 entries and over 14,000 visitors, with sales doubling in the last few years.
To enter, entrants must be over 18, pay a small entry fee to the Bath Society of Artists and submit their work on Saturday 29 June between 10am-4pm. All submissions must be the artist’s own original unaided work. They may be paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints or mixed media, but not photography or Giclee reproductions.
Many distinguished 20th-century painters have exhibited with the Society including Walter Sickert, John Singer Sargent, Philip Wilson Steer, Gilbert Spencer, Patrick Heron, Mary Fedden, William Scott and Howard Hodgkin.
Current President of the Society, founding member of the Brotherhood of Ruralists, David Inshaw, will be displaying his most famous painting ‘The Badminton Game’ during the show. After the summer exhibition closes, this painting will continue to be shown until 5 January 2014.
Free talks on art
There is also a programme of free talks being held in the Victoria Art Gallery on Saturday afternoons from 2.30-3.15pm by members of the Bath Society of Artists. The first will be held on 6 July titled ‘A Printmaker’s Approach’ by Howard Jeffs, on 20 July ‘A Painter’s Approach’ with Bob Rudd and on Saturday 10 August, ‘A Sculpture’s Approach’ with Chris Gornall.
The Victoria Art Gallery, near Pulteney Bridge in Bath, is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sundays 1.30pm to 5pm and closed on Mondays. Admission for the Bath Society of Artists summer exhibition is £2, including a catalogue. For more details call 01225 477233 or visit the Gallery’s website www.victoriagal.org.uk.