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Academician's Summer Exhibition at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter
18th August to 9th September 2015.
Photographs by Alan Jones

TV presenter, writer and architectural consultant Dan Cruickshank once described the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter as "an exquisite jewel box of a building - a Venetian casket - one of the most appealing treasures in Britain" So earlier this year, our Academicians were delighted to receive an invitation from Museums Manager Camilla Hampshire, to showcase their Summer Exhibition there.

The Private View was held on the evening of Tuesday 18th August in the delightfully refurbished wing of the Museum. Opening the evening, Camilla Hampshire welcomed the large number of artists and invited guests, and spoke of "a very impressive exhibition, which illustrates the wealth of artistic talent and diversity that we are fortunate to have in our region".

Former Devon Art Adviser and new Chair of SWAc, Phil Creek, then spoke of the continuing aims and aspirations of the Academy pointing out that although still a relatively young Academy our ambition is "to strive for excellence in promoting the visual arts and the culture of the region". He spoke of the exhibition as being a 'landmark' for the academy both in terms of the venue, as The Royal Albert is one of the most prestigious galleries in the South West, but also as it was a prime time of year. He praised the high quality and wonderful diversity of work on display from our thirty-seven Academicians who were not only displaying their excellent work but also helping year on year to raise the profile of the Academy.

There were many people to be thanked - his wife for her patience and understanding when Academy work took precedence; the Trustees for their constant help and support in helping to run the Academy;

Kevin Jones and George Hunt for the superb hanging of the exhibition; the design team for the posters and advertising; and all the staff at RAMM who initially offered to stage the exhibition there and helped so much in the process.

The hugely successful Academy book Art . People . Place was for sale at the exhibition. Phil publicly thanked former Chair Alan Fynn for his immense involvement in helping to steer the book project to a successful conclusion; photographer and wordsmith 'par excellence' Michael Carter, for his time and skill in producing the photographs and text; Jed Falby for providing the initial funding for the project; Simon Butler and the team at Halsgrove; Alan Cotton and all the Academicians and supporters who had enthusiastically embraced this uplifting and imaginative project.

Phil pointed out that over its fifteen-year history the Academy had been involved in numerous artistic and educational initiatives such as the Young Artist and Schools Exhibitions; Open Exhibitions, and the Drecki Lecture series.

The annual Drecki Lecture was named after Auschwitz survivor, painter and philanthropist the late Zbigniew DreckiĀ and his wife Jo. We are delighted that for the last three years and in conjunction with the 'Friends of RAMM' these lectures have been held at the Museum. Phil urged everyone to check the SWAc website for dates and to tell their friends to book early.

Ann L Roe SWAc (Ann Jones), August 2015.
Photographs of the 2015 Academicians Summer Exhibition

Photographs by Alan Jones
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

Academicians Exhibition 2016  9th Jan - 13th Feb., 2016

Drecki Lecture 2016  15th Mar., 2016

Open Exhibition 2016  Dates to be announced

Hanging the 2010 Open Show. Picture by Alan Jones
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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