It’s the biggest event of the year for members of the Bath Society of Artists whose members and their family and friends packed into the Victoria Art Gallery tonight on Friday for this year’s annual show.
Usually Bath Newseum is in there too – jostling with the crowds – in an attempt to interview someone about whether this particular year is the biggest and the best – so l decided to sneak in earlier in the day for a preview.
Over a thousand people submitted entries – and obviously not all of them got through to the gallery wall or pedestal – but this year, for the first time, submissions were first processed online on the Society’s website.
There were a few hiccups with the new process but its a system used a lot these days by other bodies.
In the middle of all the final tidying up today was Tim Carroll – who is Exhibition Organising Secretary for the Society.
Now in its 114th year, this hugely popular exhibition showcases the best of the region’s artistic talent.
All of the artworks are for sale. Last year there were approximately 800 entries, from which 389 were selected for an exciting exhibition that attracted more than 17,500 visitors in seven weeks.
The Society was founded in 1904 with 26 members. It has grown over the years to a membership of about 120 diverse, talented artists. 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.
Each year the society invites a prominent local artist to display their works within the show. This year’s invited artist is Stuart Geddes, President of the Royal West of England Academy (https://stewartgeddes.weebly.com/).
The prizes on offer total nearly £3,000, and include the Bath Society of Artists Prize of £1,000, the Pegasus Art prize of £350 for materials, the Bath Society of Artists 3D Prize of £250, and the Harry Walker Young Artist’s Prize of £250, awarded to artists aged 18 to 25. There are also smaller prizes for prints, watercolours, small paintings and portraits.
During the exhibition, members of the public will be invited to vote for their favourite artwork, with the winner of the Bath Society of Artists Public Choice Prize receiving £500.
The show runs from Saturday, May 18 to 29 June. £5 / concs. / 18 and under and Discovery Card holders free