Thursday, December 22, 2016

A&I Artist of the Year 2017 - shortlist, awards and sponsorship

I confess I'm always bemused by the idea that The A&I Artist of the Year 2017 should be chosen in 2016 from work completed by artists in 2016 - and then exhibited right at the beginning of 2017!

However, that's how the Artists & Illustrators Magazine have decided that their Artist of the Year exhibition should work - and that's their prerogative. :)  The upcoming exhibition is their 9th.

Artist of the Year exhibition at the Mall Galleries in January this year
Below you can find out about:

  • details of the virtual and real exhibition
  • how to vote for Artist of the Year
  • who's on my shortlist - with my comments as to why
  • a note about the awards on offer and a prompt for art societies when it comes to sponsorship.

Artists & Illustrators Artist of the Year 2017 Exhibition

The exhibition comprises 50 shortlisted artworks from the readers of Artists & illustrators magazine.

You can see
Readers now have the opportunity to vote on the one they like the best - and that person will receive the Readers' Choice Award.

Click on the red button on the red button to vote.

If you click on the first image of 'virtual' shortlist you can then go through a slideshow of all the images at a decent size.

Personally speaking I'd have really liked to see the details re size and media on the listing in the slideshow view.  Otherwise it requires having two windows open to check back and to prior to voting.

I saw the Artists of the Year 2016 Exhibition at the Mall Galleries last January and was very impressed by some of the entries - and Ian Hargreaves (see end of the post) was a worthy winner.

My shortlist 

I suspect as always that some will look much better in person than they do on screen and vice versa. However that said, my vote is going to one of the following (links to websites or Facebook Pages in the names)
  • Jane Elizabeth Martin for Bravado (Technical pen and ink on watercolour paper, 55x50cm) - this shows both amazing pen and ink skills plus imagination in relation to design and content 
  • Karen CharmanThe inconsequential Tree, Topiary Prison (Watercolour on paper, 35x55cm) - The fantasy edge is fascinating - it just caught my eye and I liked it. 
  • Kerry Lisa Davies - Catching Light (Oil on wooden panel, 67x67cm) - a very unusual perspective but one which demands attention. In part it depends on how the contrast between light and muted tones work in a gallery
  • Laura Quinn HarrisEvery Cloud (Oil on board, 41x61cm) - One of those ones where I went past and had to come back to it. This is an artist who obviously enjoys being very realistic - but also knows how to make a painting stand out from the rest
  • Ruth Swain They said I used to look like her (Oil on canvas, 120x100cm) - you can't ignore a painting four foot high with a title like this. It's story in a moment in time.  This is a confident portrait painter who isn't afraid to tackle older people.  She's also excellent at handling tonalities in muted colours.
  • Victoria Braithwaite - Amaryllis, Happy Memory (Watercolour, 56x65cm) - I've seen Victoria's work before - in exhibitions - and it's always very skilled and worth taking a close look at - as is her website.
I know they're all women artists. This was not by design - these were just the artworks which appealed to me - or jumped out and said "look at me"!

The Awards

Interestingly this exhibition ranks alongside a number of the Open Art Exhibitions in terms of the number and value of prizes on offer.

I'm going to be a little naughty and list them below - with a view to providing something of a stimulus for the national art societies to have a bit of a think about whether they are putting enough effort into getting sponsors for prizes at their exhibition! ;)

The awards are
  • Artist of the Year - £1,000 cash prize and gallery representation courtesy of Thackeray Gallery. 
  • A year's supply of art materials at Cass Art
  • £1,500 of gift vouchers to spend with Derwent, GreatArt, and Pegasus Art
  • £660 worth of masterclasses at The New School of Art
  • £600 worth of masterclasses at The Academy of Realist Art
  • £500 voucher towards a creative short course only at West Dean College
  • £500 towards a course at the St Ives School of Painting
  • £500 worth of art classes and art materials from the London Atelier of Representational Art
  • £500 of art and craft materials from STAEDTLER
  • £500 worth of one-to-one tuition with Wild & Tame
  • £500 worth of paper from Canson
  • Rembrandt Oil Colour Box Master Set from Royal Talens
  • 10 week part-time course at The Art Academy
  • £500 brush bouquet from Rosemary & Co
  • £500 voucher to spend at Cult Pens
What I'm seeing in the awards listed above is a lot of sponsorship by art educators.  Maybe art societies could have a think about whether they could do more to offer courses or workshops with their members?

(For links to the sponsors go to the Artist of the Year Page )

You can follow the exhibition on Facebook and Twitter using #AOTY2017

Ian Hargreaves was the Artist of the Year in 2016 with this painting

A&I Artist of the Year 2016: Ian Hargreaves

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Katherine,

Thanks for your kind words about my work 'Bravado' - very much appreciated.

I have just got my website up and running at - you can see more of my work there.

I'm so glad to have discovered your site - there's an amazing amount of information here; it's a resource I'll be revisiting again and again.

Best wishes,


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