The 2014 Artist’s Open Houses Awards Night was held in the Mercury Room at the wonderful Myhotel, in central Brighton and was generously sponsored by the hotel, providing delicious canapes and drinks.
There was clearly a high level of anticipation and excitement amongst the attendees, as the atmosphere in the room was buzzing by the time I arrived. The crowd gathered and the wine flowed and before long the Artist’s Open House director Judy Stevens came to the microphone to give us the keenly anticipated verdict.
After welcoming everybody, Judy gave a round-up of the month’s activities, mentioned some of the highlights, thanked sponsors and partners and explained the order in which the awards would be announced.
The much sought after award for Best Open House 2014, would come at the end of the night - and will come at the end of this blog post too.
The first three prizes were eligible to all artists who were selected for the Open Houses Open Exhibition, Upstairs at The Regency Town House. The first two of which were selected by the exhibitions curators, Jenny Lund, Curator of Fine Art at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and Katy Norris, Assistant Curator at Pallant House Chichester, and who also announced and presented these two awards.
Bernard worked as a designer in the film and TV industry for many years, including designing the graphics for the original Dr Who series. When he left there he started illustrating childrens books (12 in total, 7 of which he also wrote). He is now concentrating on the art of printmaking, using woodcuts and linocuts.
Bernard will design the brochure cover for AOH May 2015.
The next award was for the AOH Artist of the Year. The prize of £300 was shared this year between photographer Tony Bowen and ceramicist Joachim Lambrecht.
Tony was born in Manchester and graduated in Fine Art in 1983. His recent photography work focuses largely on the exploration of found surfaces in nature and in the urban environment. (http://tonybowen.info/).
German-born Joachim studied sculpture at the State Academy of Fine Arts, in Germany. Since then his work has been exhibited worldwide. His Raku-fired stoneware pieces are stunning. (http://www.joachim-lambrecht.de/).
Next up was The Visit Brighton sponsored Visitors Choice Award, which was voted for by visitors to The Open Houses Open Exhibition, at the Regency Town House. The prize was announced and presented by Visit Brighton’s Marketing Officer, Charlotte Barrow and went to Cristobal Ochoa, a 27 year-old Venezuelan artist, living temporarily in Brighton.
Cristobal creates amazing ceramic sculptures, which look like they came from the deep; large, coral-like, subterranean-type sculptures. He also paints and is known for his artistic interventions and street performances. In his short thank you speech Cristobal commented that Brighton, as a city, was very welcoming to artists and was thrilled with his prize. (http://www.cristobalochoa.com/)
Finally, Angi Mariani from The Latest announced that The Peanut Butter Tree Arts was the winner of the Latest Best Open House Award. Angi said the house was chosen for several reasons; beautiful throughout, great illustrative work, super friendly hosts, wonderful to see a live screenprinting demo. The collection had something to please everybody! This artists’ open house had the wow factor as well as very affordable art! They had also set up an auction that raised a total of £2800 for local charity, Friends of Sussex Hospices. The judging team from The Latest felt that Peanut Butter Tree Arts really hit the mark on everything that AOH stands for. (http://www.peanutbuttertreearts.co.uk/)
Vicki House accepted the trophy from Angi Mariani and gave a lovely acceptance speech.
The following Open Houses were highly commended for the Latest Best Open House Award:
Childhood Memories (West Hove trail), for which the judges had this to say “Beautifully evocative, a really wonderful and unique atmostphere.”
The judging panel said this about Encounters (West Hove trail): “Many stunning pieces and a really nice touch of having a retrospective of all the years they’ve been opening. There was also a very nice welcome at the door.”
Dion Salvador Lloyd (Hove trail): “The quality of the art was outstanding and displayed beautifully with great hospitality.”
Tony Mills & Friends (Kemp Town trail): “Stunning with a great atmosphere. Particularly excited that he had painted pylons – but that’s just my thing!”
So, that’s all for the May 2014 Artists Open Houses. We’ll see you again in December, for the Christmas AOH festival.