Arts / 90 good years for the Artists’ Society

Best in show: Alan J Jones, ‘Rocky Dune’

AS the Artists’ Society of Canberra celebrates 90 years of operation it’s a particularly good year for long-time president, Alan J Jones, who has been announced as winner of Best in Show for his oil painting “Rocky Dune”.

The birthday exhibition features more than 300 artworks, and continues all weekend, finishing at 5pm tomorrow (Sunday, September 24).

At a grand birthday party in the Albert Hall today Jones remembered former presidents and friends, including four members who had died in the past year. He told those present that the Canberra Museum and Gallery had asked ASOC to assist them with an exhibition of work by earlier society members, including one past president, Hector Gilliland, who went on to be a famous Australian  painter. He congratulated two painters present, Cynthia Watsford and Stan Jones, who  were the  same age as ASOC.

In announcing the prizewinners, the judges for this year, Ruth Waller, head of painting at the ANU School of Art and Design and Deborah Clarke, senior curator at the Canberra Museum and Art Gallery, said that some categories had been particularly strong, notably miniatures, oils and landscape, which showed “a striking and healthy diversity of approaches from traditional to experimental”.

‘Effervescent’ by Lauren Butler, detail

Clearly, they said, Canberra’s ASOC Artists continue to be highly engaged by the beauty of our local landscape and the flora and fauna of the bush capital. They also noted that as a relatively new category, sculpture is a field ripe for development and expansion.

While they said it was a pleasure to see such a diversity of individuals enriching their lives and their community through a passionate engagement with creativity, the judges suggested that it would be good to see “more drawing from life – such as figure or interior scenes, which show evidence of working directly from the motif. It would also be good to see a wider range of printmaking.”

The Artists’ Society of Canberra 90th anniversary spring exhibition continues at the Albert Hall, 10am-5pm, until tomorrow, September 24. All welcome, free entry.

The full list of prize winners for the 2017 ASOC Spring Exhibition: 

Best-in-Show, Alan J. Jones, “Rocky Dune” (Oil)

Peg Minty Prize for Landscape, Lucky Hua, “Wendy’s Retreat” (Oil)

Capital Chemist/David A. D. Hatton Prize for Watercolour, Maxine Sumner, “Up Close and Personal”

Acrylics

First, Lauren Butler, “Effervescent”

Second, Stanley Jones, “Seaside Garden”

Third, Siva Nathan, “Inspiring Nature.”

Drawing

First, Tim Hardy, “Living Room”

Second, Brigitte Causbrook, “Centipedes Walking Race”

Third, Peggy Spratt, “Eucalypts Mount Ainslie”

Pastel

First, Victoria Doyle, “Ancient Land”

Second, Dian Jones, “Island in the Sun”

Third, Leigh Murray, “Dragon Fly”

Mixed Media

First, Peter Schlumpp, “Ghost Ship”

Second, Margaret Ballard, “Equilibrium”

Third, Lauren Butler, “My Trip to the Desert”

Highly Commended, Susan Reynolds, “Afternoon Tea”

Watercolour

First, Maxine Sumner, “Up Close and Personal”

Second, Hans Van Haalen, Havana Cityscape I

Third, Mike Lester, “Back of the Pub”

Oil

First, Susan Shaw, “Rainy Bay”

Second, Peter Schlumpp, “A Man Like Me”

Third, Alan J. Jones, “Mount Conner”

Highly Commended, Greg Rimes, “Red Rocks, Freqcinet, Tasmania”

Printmaking

First, Angharad Dean, “Apple Box”

Second, Steve Tomlin, “A Different Look”

Third Simone Doherty, “Summer Daze”

Miniatures

First, Cheryl Hodges, “Packham Pear”

Second, Val Johnson, “The Photographer”

Third, Sandra House, “Hall Landscape”

Highly Commended, Alan J. Jones, “Stromatolites”

Best of:

Best Abstract – Capital Chemist Prize, Noelle Bell, “Fractal”

Best Still Life, Camelia Smith, “Fruit Bowl”

Best Portrait or Figure, Julie Lester, “Off the Air”

Best Flora or Fauna, Josie Barac, “Pardalote”

Best Sculpture, Susan Reynolds, Peggy Spratt & Susi Cook, “Xanthorea redefined.”

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