• Celia Wilkinson Across the Valley

Running until 12 June 2022, Red House Museum and Gardens in Christchurch is hosting the annual Red House Museum Open Art Exhibition. The exhibition, which is free to visit, is a premier showcase of visual artwork by amateur and professional artists from Dorset, Hampshire and beyond.

This year’s guest judges were Dorset Arts Week producer, Paul Newman, and Jo Dyton, owner of Hatch Gallery in Christchurch.

182 entries were submitted to the exhibition, with just 70 being selected for display: with the standard of entry at an all-time high, the judges were presented with a tough challenge to whittle the entries down.  

The overall winner was Celia Wilkinson with her painting Across the Valley. A professional artist based on the Isle of Wight, Celia received an arts supply voucher worth £150. The Manager’s Choice, awarded by Hampshire Cultural trust, was given to Sally Winter with an etching titled Morning has Broken. This award comes with an offer to the artist to exhibit a solo show at the Red House Museum’s gallery next year. The Friends of the Museum also presented a £100 cheque for the Friends’ Choice award to Amanda Bates with her artwork Palisade, which is ink on kaolin.  Jo Dyton presented the Judge's Choice award to Tom Marshall for his work The Orange Ball. Tom was also offered an exhibition slot at Hatch Gallery, Christchurch. Commended works were Kate Stone with her oil painting, Blue and Green Plates, Elizabeth Hammond with a pencil drawing The Tales: Series VII and Suzan Inceer with an acrylic painting Word on Watermelon Street.

Paul Newman commented: “I was delighted to help judge submissions for the Red House Museum Open Art and to work with the organisers to select the works, a difficult task with so many great pieces submitted. I'm really looking forward to visiting the exhibition and seeing the work on display in the gallery!”

All the artwork is for sale and is a great way to support both local artists and the museum.

This year's Open Art exhibition is part of Dorset Arts Week which takes place from 14-29 May 22.

Red House Museum and Gardens is operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust, an independent charity set up in 2014 to promote Hampshire as a county that offers outstanding cultural experiences to both its residents and visitors.