Our Society’s Summer Exhibition was declared a roaring success by President Sue Worden in her opening address to a packed Studio on our Preview Night presentation of awards.

Welcoming special guests Cllr. Cheryl Little, Mayor of the Fylde and her consort, husband Cllr. Paul Little, she said that members had shaken off the gloomy days of Covid and were now energised and producing some wonderful artworks.

New members – many of whom had taken up art and crafts during lockdown – were enthusiastically joining the workshops and playing a full part in the Society. In fact the walls were full and for the first time in a few years some had to be held in reserve.

In response the Mayor said she was very impressed with all she had seen and was looking forward to a closer inspection once the all-important cups had been awarded.

Adjudicator for the exhibition was Brian Healey – no stranger to Lytham Art Society – who echoed Sue’s thoughts that there were many very talented artists who had submitted paintings.

Adjudicator giving his judgements

Brian Healey – Adjudicator

He gave a critique of each artwork he had selected before announcing the winner of the cup in each of the eight categories. The Mayor presented the trophies along with a certificate.

Brian said it had been to very difficult making his decisions and significantly awarded six Highly Commended certificates, stressing that in some cases there was only a fine line between many of his choices. He too was impressed with the overall standard.

When the exhibition visitor’s votes for their favourite painting were counted there was a clear winner – Derek Leyland’s ‘Onion Harvest’ painted in oils with his detailed style

Derek Leyland with exhibition visitorr's favourite painting

Derek Leyland with his oil painting ‘Onion Harvest’

2023 Summer Exhibition Awards

The Turner Cup for the best oil painting – KEN ROBERTS for Springtime, Lytham Hall Tea Garden

The Revis Cup for best watercolour – CYNTHIA GUEST for Flowers for the Bride

The Tom and Mary Coates Cup for the best acrylic – ALAN BEALEY for Summer Solstice

The Maisie Simmons Cup for best pastel – DIANA THOMPSON for A walk down Green Drive

The Spencer Cup for mixed media – SANDRA HALLERGARD for Autumn Leaves

The Holgate Cup for best land or seascape – GRAHAM SMITH for New footbridge over the River Dinkley

The Eileen Wooding Cup for the best nature painting – CYNTHIA GOODERHAM for Barkley

The Alan Marsden Cup for best drawing – BARBARA WAITE for Blue Lilies

President’s Cup chosen by Sue was, unusually, shared by two people who do a tremendous amount for the Society – Elaine and Graham Smith. Elaine runs the winter programme of demonstrations and lectures and assists Graham with the Thursday morning watercolour workshop. Graham is the Society’s picture framer and all-round Mr Fixit.

Highly Commended

Model in the Red Room – after Matisse – HARVEY FOSTER

Dad – LESLIE KAYE

Dunsop Bridge – MARGARET EVANS FISHER

Still life, onions – TREVOR LOFTUS

Tranquil Evening – MARGARET RODWELL

Onion Harvest – DEREK LEYLAND

The Society had finally shaken off the Covid blues and is back to its best if the Summer Exhibition
is any barometer to go by. Too many pictures to all fit on the walls and screens despite the
hanging committee’s best efforts it meant we had pictures in reserve for the first time in quite a
number of years.
Two artworks were sold on the first day within 20 minutes of opening which was tremendous and
there was a steady sale throughout the two weeks – reduced from three in previous years – and a
late burst of activity on the final morning.
With saving money in mind we printed off new labels to go with each artwork rather than getting
hundreds of catalogues. It was time-consuming to do but looked good. Three large print laminated
catalogues were an innovation which worked well and were appreciated by visitors.
Adjudication has cost a lot in previous years, so with that in mind Elaine Smith, our Lecture
Secretary, phoned one of our regular demonstrators, lecturer Brian Healey, who not only agreed to
be our Adjudicator, but gave his time freely asking only for expenses. An amazing gesture and
much appreciated. He spoke with authority about each of the artworks he had picked as the Fylde
Mayor presented the cups and highly commended certificates on the Preview evening. The Mayor,
her Consort and Brian Healey all said how much they had enjoyed the evening talking to our
members and going around the exhibition.
In total we had 170 pictures hung at the start of the exhibition with 12 in reserve, half of which
replaced sold artworks during the two weeks. There were 19 folios submitted this year.

The largest entry was in the oil group, followed by watercolour and then acrylic, with a good
showing for mixed media, pastel and drawing. Sales were spread through all the groups, and the
visitor vote for their favourite reflected the Society’s diversity of talent. It attracted almost 200 votes
spread across 90 different paintings, but the clear winner was an oil – Derek Leyland’s Onion
Harvest.
The middle Saturday had six crafters occupying the centre of the room and while sales were not
great it was a focal point for visitors to chat about what we were doing and for us to talk about the
Society. The homemade cakes and biscuits on the first two Saturdays boosted tea and coffee
sales.
Looking back to last year’s recommendations, the two-week timeframe suggestion which was
adopted didn’t affect the number of visitors. In fact, there was a total of 620 people through the
doors compared with 435 over three weeks in 2022. Sales figures reflected an increase too, taking
nearly £2,900. Congratulations go to the 20 artists who sold during the two weeks!
Many, many thanks go to all of you who participated in this year’s exhibition, especially the
volunteers who took on various roles to make the exhibition run as smoothly as possible. Thanks
also to the artists who submitted their works for us to enjoy. Congratulations to this year’s cup
winners and to those members who were highly commended. Well done all! It was wonderful that
so many society members made the effort to come and support the exhibition as well as the
visiting public. Overall, a very successful Summer Exhibition.

Jacqueline King and Barbara Waite