Saturday, July 27, 2013

Animal and Wildlife Art - Two exhibitions

There are two exhibitions this month for animal and wildlife art. You can find details below of:
  • the Summer Exhibition of the Association of Animal Artists
  • the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art (NEWA)
Finally, I offer some points to ponder for groups of artists who want to mount exhibitions of artwork in places which are not commercial galleries.

The Association of Animal Artists - Summer Exhibition

The Summer Exhibition of the Association of Animal Artists (AAA) opens today at The Haworth Gallery in Accrington, Lancashire and continues until 15th September 2013.

Below are a few facts about the association for all those animal art fans who are not familiar with it

This is a relatively new art society. It was founded in 2009 with the aim of focusing on all types of animal art.
We are unique in that, not only do we welcome work of ANY animal, be it mammal, bird, reptile, fish or even insect, but, importantly, we also include the domestic animals we share our lives with, such as dogs, cats, horses and farm animals.
It welcome all styles of art - from traditional and detailed to more painterly and expressive.

AAA  is also an association which places a big emphasis on supporting charities which help animals - which I've found to be very common characteristic across groups founded by animal artists.  These are people where the subject matter really matters!
AAA is committed to supporting its animal charity partners and actively works to promote them, including Lancashire Constabulary Retired Police Horse Benevolent Fund, World Horse Welfare, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (Martin Mere Wetland Centre) and the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre.
It's also an association which encourages artists to work from life or to try something new and learn how to do so.

Their preview event today is being filmed by the Society of All Artists.

A spot of red (Woodpecker) by Gayle Mason
My friend animal and wildlife artist Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint | Facebook Pageis a member of AAA and is displaying three works of art in the exhibition. 

Venue: Haworth Art Gallery, Manchester Road, Accrington, Lancashire BB5 2JS
Dates: 27 July - 15 September 2013
Times: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 12 noon to 4.45pm and Saturday, Sunday 12 noon to 4.15pm
Admission: Open to all and admission is free - plus free parking.

National Exhibition of Wildlife Art

The 2013 National Exhibition of Wildlife Art opened last Friday and continues unto August 4th at its normal venue - the Gordale Garden Centre, Chester High Rd South Wirral, Burton CH64 8TF

This year is their 20th anniversary and in 20 years it has grown to become a very popular show - particularly with collectors who don't like to spend the time or the expense of visiting London.  That said visitors actually come from all over the UK.

You can see an online gallery of the artwork in the exhibition online.  They've always been overlayed with a watermark but this year it's absolutely HUGE watermarks which completely spoils the viewing of the artwork.

There's a balance to be struck between making sure images aren't stolen and actually being able to see the image in the first place.  Maybe the organisers could experiment with smaller images with a much smaller watermark and one page of images per artist?

The exhibition is usually very successful and has consistently sold a large percentage of the works on show.  In 2011, they sold 50%.  Whether this is via the show or because they put large images on the website is unclear.

The exhibition also siphons money from sales of original artwork to support the charitable work of Tusk, Chester Zoo and the Wildlife Trusts.


Below are the names of the artists who have won prizes at the show.  I've also included links to their websites in their names - which means you can see better images of their artwork on their websites.  The links in the titles are to the artists websites.

Arquadia Award: Catalogue Number: 367 Tawny Owl and 368 Back At The Hen House by Julie Vernon

Chester Zoo Award: Catalogue Number: 18 I Spy by Susan Baxter

Daler Rowney Award: Catalogue Number: 108 Jungle Spirit (jaguar)109 My Girl (wigeon) and 110 Peacock Butterfly  by Paul Dyson

David Cook Drawing Award: 

Focus Optic AwardCatalogue Number: 264 Cuttlefish and Catalogue Number: 264 Seahorses by Nicolas Pain 

Great Art AwardCatalogue Number: 327 The Coalition and Catalogue Number: 328 The Procession by Katy Sodeau (Equestrian and Wildlife Artist)

Iris Print AwardCatalogue Number: 333 Living Fossil, agama Lizard by Ann Squire 
Rosemary & Co Award

Rosemary & Co Award: Catalogue Number: 342 In Harmony With The Water and Catalogue Number: 343 Otter Branching Out by Rhian Symes

The Countryman Award - for  'The most outstanding work on an avian theme'
Catalogue Number: 23 Godwits At Dusk; Catalogue Number: 24 On The Edge (dunlin) and Catalogue Number: 25 To The Air (turnstone) by Andrew Beckett

Welsh Border Life Award 

Venue: Gordale Garden Centre, Chester High Rd South Wirral, Burton CH64 8TF  View On Map
Dates: July 19th - August 4th
Times: open daily from 9:30am - 6:00pm with late night viewing on Thursdays until 8:30pm.
Admission: Free - plus free parking

Putting on an art exhibition - points to ponder on

For those thinking of getting new ventures off the ground in terms of exhibitions to display artwork by groups of artists here are a few points to to ponder on.
  • Art Collectors also live outside London! ;) Think about venues which have easy access from all parts of the UK.  Being near to a motoroway junction can make a big difference.
  • Free car parking can make the difference between people coming once and coming again this year and next year and in years to come.
  • Venues which are accessible by public transport can help visitor numbers (although I personally suspect free car parking is more important!  Views on this topic are most welcome!)
  • You can exhibit art in a gallery - but it doesn't need to be a commercial gallery.  Check out the opportunities offered by local authorities
  • You can exhibit art outside galleries - think about the type of venues which are compatible with your art and the interests of your collectors
  • Check the set-up in terms of people handling sales and the need to staff the exhibition with artists involved in the exhibition
  • Never ever under-estimate the time involved in planning, setting up, running and taking down an exhibition.  There is a very good reason why most art groups only have one big exhibition a year!
  • Do NOT forget the marketing or the time this needs.  These days marketing often means website, blog, twitter account, Facebook Page, flyers, articles for journals, mailshots to interested parties and advertising in relevant national and local press.  The important bit is to assess afterwards which aspects of marketing made a big difference and which were a bit of a waste of time.

QUESTION: What are your best tips for new art groups who want to exhibit their the artwork of their members?

Links to my related "Resources for Artists" websites

1 comment:

  1. you're right about the's pretty obnoxious. hard to appreciate all the amazing art with that mark across it. thanks for show casing these two exhibits, i would not have known about them otherwise!!



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