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Click here for Pictures and Articles on this year's Open Exhibition.

The exhibition programme lies at the heart of the Academy's annual calendar and an enviable record of achievement has been created in the twelve years since the Academy's formation. That part of the Academy's objectives stipulating that the Academy 'should promote the appreciation and practice of the Fine and Applied Arts' is well served by a programme that ensures that practitioners from all over the South West are offered, at least once a year, the opportunity to display their latest work in prestigious city centre surroundings, in a well-supported Open Exhibition, which has become an exhibition of choice for many patrons of the Arts in our region. To enrich and encourage participation, the Trustees and Academicians exhibit alongside the selected Open entries, and invest considerable funds into a series of prizes for each Open, including the Lionel Aggett Memorial Prize awarded to the 'Best in Show' (excluding Academicians), in memory of the distinguished painter and former founder member of the Academy. Other prizes are given to work selected by the public and our sponsors. To serve the needs and aspirations of our Academicians, the Academy stages an annual Academicians' Exhibition. This exhibition features new work from all Academicians, including our distinguished Honorary Academicians, and is usually planned for the Spring. Restored by the Trustees to the calendar in 2009, this show has proved highly successful and well supported. Shows at the Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter, Kennaway House in Sidmouth, and the Gloss Gallery in Exeter have attracted good reviews and excellent support.

To 2008 the Academy staged annual Young Artists' Exhibitions in Exeter featuring the work of children of all ages from schools across the region. With the mantle of responsibility for this annual event passing to the County in 2009, a gap in our calendar has stood ready for a new initiative in this area. The Trustees have now planned a new open award for 2012 for the most promising young artist in three age groups up to age 20. Winners and runners-up in each category will be the subject of an exhibition in 2012 to showcase their work with all the supporting events associated with our larger shows.

Calendar: Exhibitions and Events

Drecki Lecture 2015  Date to be announced

Academicians Exhibition 2015  18th Aug - 9th Sep.

Open Exhibition  28th Sep. - Sat 3rd Oct.

Young Artists Exhibition 2015  Date to be announced

Hanging the 2010 Open Show. Picture by Alan Jones

The South West Academy's Annual Open Show
Photographs by Alan Jones
In a striking departure the South West Academy moved its annual Open Show to the centre of Exeter High Street, staging this popular and prestigious exhibition in the newly renovated St Stephens Church from the 22nd to the 27th September. This spacious and beautifully lit space was ideal for displaying the work chosen from the record number of entries this year from all over the South West Region.

Over two hundred paintings, prints, sculptures, ceramics, photographs and other examples of the applied arts were selected for display. These were complemented by some outstanding examples of their current work by the Academicians and the Guest Artists, sculptor and printmaker Peter Randall-Page and potter Tessa Rubbra.

Private View
A highly successful Private View and prize giving was held on the Monday evening and the Academy was very pleased to welcome a record attendance for this event. Much excitement and favourable comment was apparent for the suitability of the Church as a venue and the quality of the work and the hang. The vibrant atmosphere delighted visitors and exhibitors alike

The Exhibition
The Private View was also followed by record attendances on each of the exhibition days and a great deal of interest was shown in individual work and artists. As in past years the Academy delivered high standards across a wide spectrum of genre and medium. This Show, however, was considered by many to be the best ever representation of the Academy’s worth and a complete and well integrated illustration of the guiding aims and objectives that set the Academy’s art and work apart.
Awards and Prizes
This is the Fifteenth Open Exhibition that the Academy has staged in Exeter. Over the years much critical acclaim has been accrued for the quality and breadth of work displayed. As in past years a panel of Academicians and guests artists chose from amongst the public entries the three winners of the Lionel Aggett Memorial Award who received cash prizes sponsored by the Academy: First Prize went to a finely drawn and beautifully painted interior in oil on board At the Table by John Sellings. Second Prize was awarded to an exquisite small full length portrait in oil Standing Room by Gregory Mason and Third Prize went to a striking and arresting reclining figure Slouch by Beth Pearson.

Young Artists
Nothing is more exciting in the visual arts than the emergence of new and exciting talent and this was the second year that the Academy’s Young Artists Award was combined with the Open. The winners of each age category and their schools received Academy sponsored prizes
Guest Artists at the Open Exhibition

Tessa Rubbra
Tessa studied ceramics at the Central School in London. In the late seventies she founded Speen Pottery in Buckinghamshire and immediately her reputation as a potter producing finely thrown tableware was established. There are four aspects that neatly combine in Tessa’s work. Her skill as a thrower that gives strength to the profile of the form, the rich glazes and harmonic colour that relate to the considered design, adopting the paper resist technique, and the insistence that the finished work has a practical use.

Peter Randall-Page
During the past 25 years Peter Randall-Page has gained an international reputation through his sculpture drawings and prints. He has undertaken numerous large-scale commissions and exhibited widely. His work is held in public and private collections throughout the world. A selection of his public sculptures can be found in many urban and rural locations throughout the UK and his work is in the permanent collections of the Tate Gallery and the British Museum amongst others.

Photographs of the 2014 Open Exhibition

Photographs by Alan Jones

with Tony Williams SWAc
Titled An Artist trying to Work Things Out Academician Tony Williams SWAc delivered the Open Gallery Talk at on Wednesday evening at the Exhibition. Tony, who lives and works in rural Devon, is an established and successful figurative painter working in a modern impressionist style of landscapes and seascapes mainly in oils. He is also well known for his skilled teaching methods.

His paintings are held widely in private collections across the UK and Europe and are exhibited at the Steam Gallery at Beer, at Fisherton Mill in Salisbury,The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle, Gloss Art in Exeter, The West Gallery and across the Region. He has had many demonstration feature articles published in The Artist and International Artist magazines. Tony's easy and approachable style led to an entertaining evening complete with a fascinating demonstration of technique.
Tony Williams, Gallery Talk
Exhibitions staged by the Academy 2000-2014

Open Exhibition, Exeter Phoenix, 2000
Christmas Exhibition, Ceramics and Prints, Exeter Phoenix, 2000

Schools' Exhibition, Me and My World, Exeter Phoenix, 2001
Open Exhibition, Exeter Phoenix and Royal Albert Museum, 2001
Winter Exhibition, Drawing, Illustration and Glass, Exeter Phoenix 2001

Schools' Exhibition, A Special Place, Exeter Phoenix, 2002
Open Exhibition, Exeter Phoenix and Royal Albert Museum, 2002

Schools' Exhibition, Through My Own Eyes, Exeter Phoenix, 2003
Open Exhibition, Exeter Phoenix and Royal Albert Museum, 2003
Academicians' Winter Exhibition, Exeter Phoenix, 2003

Schools' Exhibition, Drawing From Experience, Exeter Phoenix, 2004
Open Exhibition, Exeter Phoenix and Royal Albert Museum, 2004

Schools' Exhibition, It Appears to Me..., 2005
Open Exhibition, Exeter Phoenix and Royal Albert Museum, 2005

Open Exhibition, Cube3 Gallery,University of Plymouth, 2006

Schools' Exhibition, Our Environment, Cube3 Gallery,
University of Plymouth, 2007
Open Exhibition, Clifford Fishwick Gallery, Exeter, 2007

Young Artists' Exhibition, Life's Journeys, Exeter Cathedral, 2008
Open Exhibition, CCI Exeter College, 2008

Academicians' Exhibition, Royal Clarence Hotel, Exeter, 2009
Open Exhibition, Exeter Castle Galleries, 2009

Academicians' Exhibition, Kennaway House, Sidmouth, 2010
Open Exhibition, Exeter Castle Galleries, 2010

Academicians' Exhibition Gloss Gallery, Exeter, 2011
Open Exhibition, Exeter Castle Galleries, 2011

Academicians' Exhibition, Gloss Gallery, Exeter, 2012
Open Exhibition, Gloss Gallery, Exeter, 2012

The Lens And The Easel, Exhibition staged in partnership
with Michael Carter SWAc, Ariel Center, Totnes, 2013
Academicians' Exhibition, Gloss Gallery, Exeter, 2013
Open Exhibition and Young Artists Exhibition, Gloss Gallery, Exeter, 2013

Academicians Exhibition and Book Launch, Royal Clarence Hotel, Exeter, 2014
Open Exhibition and Young Artists Exhibition, St. Stephens Church, Exeter, 2014

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