Three Counties Open Art Exhibition – Burslem School of Art

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Rage at Dusk Russell Gregory
Rage at Dusk by Russell Gregory

Bandages, feathers, wood, watercolours, ink, acrylic and oils are some of the materials used by artists to create their work for this popular show. The annual Keele University Three Counties Open Art Exhibition, at the Burslem School of Art, spotlights the talent of fine artists from across the area.

A judging panel selected 203 pieces of work from more than 500 entries to curate an eclectic mix of abstract, figurative, portrait and landscape paintings. This year, to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, artists were also invited to submit work to the Great War Commemoration Space held in one room of the exhibition.

David Amigoni, Pro Vice Chancellor of Keele University, spoke at the opening, which was attended by 250 people. He said: “It’s 20 years since we first started this event and it has gained a reputation to be one of the outstanding opportunities to showcase the work of artists from Staffordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire.”

It’s only the second year it has been held in Burslem, having previously sighted on the Keele campus. Joan Walley, chair of the Burslem Regeneration Trust, and who presented the Young Person’s Prize to winner Megan Hancock, said: “Burslem is the centre of creativity, we have lost so much manufacturing but we haven’t lost our creativity. We want a new generation of people to rebuild Burslem to use our historic legacy and look to the future.”

One of the main prizes awarded on the night was the Arthur Berry prize which was won by Russell Gregory of Stoke for his painting Rage At Dusk. Arthur Berry, was a painter, poet and playwright from Burslem, who died in 1994, and bequeathed some money to set up a fund to support the arts.

Russell said: “Arthur Berry is one of the greats in my opinion so to win this particular prize is special. I have a studio in Burslem and spend a lot of time just staring out of the window observing what’s going on, and then something from that comes out in a painting.”

The exhibition is open until August 30 at the Burslem School of Art in Queen Street, Burslem. See Baba’s What’s ON for more details.

Article by Jackie Gregory