Hundreds of entrants as the Harlow Open makes glorious return

Communities / Sat 28th Jan 2023 at 05:35pm

THE Harlow Open Private View took place on 19 January on the day it was announced that Harlow Council had been successful in its bid to the Government to secure funding for a new Cultural Quarter in the town. Two hundred artists and guests were given a chance to meet the judges and view the exhibition in the Gibberd Gallery. 

This was the first Open since 2020. There were 301 artworks entered from artists from across Harlow, Broxbourne, East Herts, Epping & Uttlesford. 202 works in all mediums from 145 local artists were selected for display. The exhibition has been curated by artist Elaine Tribley. The Harlow Open 2023 exhibition is now on until Saturday 11 March. It is open everyday, except Sundays from 11am – 4pm. Entrance is free. Most work is for sale. 

The judges for this year’s Open were Kate Mason, photographer & film maker Damilola Lemomu, and sculptor, Irena Posner. Kate is the Chair of the Society of Designer Craftsmen, Trustee of the House of Imagination and former Director of the Big Draw. 

Kate said  “It has been such a pleasure and privilege to be one of this year’s judges for the Harlow Open, led by the Harlow Art Trust. I was delighted to see such an exciting, varied and eclectic array of submissions from across all disciplines, from beginners and entry-level artists, designers and makers through to those whose creative practice spans decades. 

It’s clear that this wonderful initiative is going from strength to strength. The Harlow Open offers great opportunities, both creatively, and strategically, in supporting the development of a wider vision, and ambition to raise awareness of Harlow and its unique offer, both regionally and nationally. There are not many places you can visit where whilst doing your everyday shopping, you will also be rubbing shoulders with an exceptional collection of over 100 public sculptures and artworks, all by artists of international acclaim. 

It was also great to meet the fellow selectors, Damilola Lemomu and Irena Posner and spend a day together, exploring, sharing and selecting, in support of this Open. 

Hats off also to powerhouse Catherine Mummery, Programme Manager and the Trustees for Harlow Art Trust, who also run the Gibberd Gallery, which is home to wonderful drawings, 20th century watercolours and changing exhibitions. I salute you all.”

The judges selected a long list of artworks and chose the following as winners:

First Prize went to John Viner for ‘Coocoocachoo’. The prize is £200 and the opportuntiy to have a display for a month in the Gibberd Gallery Window Galleries. 

Second Prize went to Paul Pattison for  ‘Stitching/Trees & Water’. The prize is £100 

Third Prize went to Jordan Cook for  ‘Eve’. The prize is £75.

The Sue McDonald Prize for Painting was awarded to Simon Barnes, for ‘Edwina of Fayum’. The prize is £100 and the opportunity to have a display for a month in the Gibberd Gallery Window Galleries.

Highly Commended went to Mike Seaborne for  ‘Rushey Mead Nature Reserve, Essex’

The Judges Prize was awarded to the Harlow College Visual Arts Department.

The certificates were handed out by Jane Greer, Director of Communities and Environment at Harlow Council. 

Harlow Art Trust Trustee, Erleen Anderson, said “It is great to see such a reaction to our first Harlow Open in 5 years to welcome all mediums and sizes. More than 400 hours of effort from Harlow Art Trust staff, volunteers and experts have gone into putting on the show, and the investment is worth it.  It looks fantastic and I will be buying a few pieces myself and encourage others to do so too.”

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