Branston Award celebrates local artists

Posted: 20 March 2013
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Alison Bowskill, Shena Bulcock and Richard Kent are celebrating after sharing the winnings from the fourth annual Branston Art Award.

Branston sponsors the annual award at the Ilminster Arts Centre to celebrate the work of established and emerging artists living and working in the South West area.

Alison wowed the judges with her coloured etching "Gig Racing" - a depiction of Cornwall's gig racing events. She scooped the £300 first prize and the promise of an exhibition for her work. The two joint second prize winners, Shena Bulcock and Richard Kent (pictured here with Ian Wait), received £100 each.

General manager of the Branston South West site Ian Wait announced the winner and runners up at a special ceremony at the exhibition's preview event.

Ian said: "We are absolutely delighted to sponsor this event once again and, indeed, in future years. The Arts Centre in Ilminster is a fantastic facility and we are very keen to support local art and our region's talented artists."

There were a record number of 65 visitors to this year's preview event and over 170 paintings, sculptures and ceramics were on display, selected from 75 regional artists. The works are currently being displayed at an open exhibition at Ilminster Arts Centre until 6 April.

Sue Bishop, visual arts coordinator at Ilminster Arts Centre, said: "The standard of entries was particularly high this year and the exhibition is a tribute to the talent that exists in the South West.

"Branston's sponsorship enables us to give prize money to the winners. This has encouraged more artists to see the arts centre as a worthwhile space to exhibit in, and as a result, our following has grown year on year.

"The exhibition has increased in popularity over the past four years and I hope that our association with Branston will continue."

Winner Alison Bowskill, from Lyme Regis, is a part-time art teacher at Woodroffe School in the Dorset town. She has a degree in fine art and a post-graduate qualification in printmaking.

Alison said: "I am thrilled to win this prize and am grateful that my work has been acknowledged. It's a real confidence boost and I can't wait to see my work on display at my own exhibition next year.

"I have a real passion for printmaking and I've recently started working part-time so I can spend more time on my art work. I hope my exhibition will be the first of many."