Local Artists' Efforts Rewarded At Fife Art Exhibition In Kirkcaldy

By David Prudames | 11 November 2004
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Shows a photograph of award-winners and dignitaries standing in front of a wall covered in artwork.

Art wins prizes in Fife! Courtesy Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery.

Down in London, the great and good of the art scene are gearing up to lavish thousands of pounds upon one of their number in the annual celebration of contemporary art, the Turner Prize.

Meanwhile, up at Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery, you won’t find any un-made beds on show and there are rather less noughts on the winners’ cheques, but the skill, creativity and imagination of local artists is also being rewarded.

Six local artists have been chosen as the winners of the Shell Expro Award at the annual Fife Art Exhibition.

One of Britain’s largest amateur open art shows, Fife Art Exhibition is now in its 21st year and features work by over 360 entrants.

"For a lot of the artists that enter it might be the first time they’ve had their work on show," Catherine Shearer, Assistant Curator, told the 24 Hour Museum, "so, for a lot of people it’s a huge excitement."

Shows a photograph of an older man standing in front of an artwork he created.

The judges said of William Gilmour's work: "All the delicacy and detail afforded by painstaking use of pen and wash contained within a very bold design." Courtesy Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery.

But for six artists in particular, it has proved an even more rewarding experience.

A panel of judges, including printer and painter Tim Cockburn, Curator of the Scottish Collection of Art, Joyce Laing and Community Arts Manager at Fife College, Tash Goswami, were charged with picking their six favourite works.

With so many works to go through they had a tough job, but eventually settled on Sandra Allan, Jake Brown, Donald Farren, William Gilmour, Marie Thomson and Elizabeth Vere-Stevens.

The winners were announced by local Provost John Simpson and Councillor Jim Brennan during the exhibition opening ceremony earlier this week.

Award winners were presented with cheques for £100 by Dallas Mechan of Fife Council Museums and the six works were purchased by Shell Expro for donation to the Fife Health Board.

During the course of the next year, each one of the artworks will be put on display around the region to bring a welcome splash of colour to a variety of health care facilities.

Shows a photograph of a young man standing in front of and holding onto an artwork that he created.

Donald Farren's work was described by the judges as "direct, imaginative and fresh." Courtesy Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery.

For Catherine Shearer what makes the exhibition, which has boasted the work of Jack Vettriano in the past, so important is the opportunity it gives to local artists. Both in getting their work seen and, in a lot of cases, bought.

"It’s something that they wouldn’t otherwise get to do and because it’s such a mix," she said, "it gives a really good impression of who’s out there and what they’re doing."

The fact that it is only open to local artists also exerts a great pull on the area’s art lovers, added Catherine.

"In terms of the public that come in," she said, "I think it diversifies that month, because everybody knows someone whose work is on show."

The Fife Art Exhibition is on display until November 26 and all works are for sale, so there might just be the odd unique Christmas present waiting for you…

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