Local artists celebrated at new Arts Centre Washington exhibition
A striking exhibition of artwork from talented artists living and working in the region has gone on show at Arts Centre Washington.
Washington Open Exhibition 2022: Spotlight features the work of 40 artists after organisers Sunderland Culture received well over 100 submissions. A shortlist of artists was drawn up by a panel of judges from the Arts Centre Washington (ACW) team and visitors’ responses.
Social media comments were then added to the mix to choose the winners.
As well as choosing artwork for the Spotlight exhibition, the panel chose an overall winner who will get the chance to have their own solo exhibition in ACW’s main gallery, Because of the calibre of entrants, the panel also chose a runner-up, whose work will also be exhibited at the arts centre.
Matt Blyth, Culture and Heritage Officer at ACW, said: “We were blown away by the quality of artwork submitted – it was genuinely impressive and a true celebration of local art and artists.
“We invited applicants to respond to an open call based around the theme of entrances/exits. The panel selected work from more than 40 local artists working in a range of different mediums including painting, textiles, digital art, photography and sculpture,” he said.
“There was a competitive element to the exhibition and because of the quality of submissions, we decided we would have a runner-up as well as a winner.
“Our winner was David Baillie, from Bishop Auckland, whose work features themes of pollution and the damage we’re inflicting on the planet. Our runner-up was Natalie Martin, an artist from Harraton, Washington, whose work is based around myths, legends and ancient history.”
After studying a fine arts degree at the University of Sunderland, Natalie was chosen for an Artist Benevolent Fund Step Up Fellowship, also at the university.
“I was delighted to have been named runner-up among so many great artists. I’m proud to have been recognised, and excited about having my own exhibition at the arts centre. I plan to become a professional artist and this is a step toward that goal,” Natalie said.
“I’d like to study a Masters degree, but I’d like to get more experience exhibiting first. My work is organic, it’s not planned, it just flows. I’m inspired by urban mythology, legends and history,” she added.
The free exhibition is on at ACW until December 23 and much of the artwork is for sale.