Amateurs were picture perfect when they took top prizes in art competition

An amateur art competition aims to give talented Scottish painters the chance to get their break into the artworld.

Following an unveiling in Lochgelly last October and subsequent exhibition which took up residence in Kirkcaldy Galleries thereafter, artworks produced by winners of last year’s Fife Art Exhibition were presented to NHS Fife for display in their facilities.

Sponsored by Shell UK, the competition was open to all amateur artists living in Fife and has been celebrated as a foot in the door to the art world for the likes of Jack Vettriano, Celie Byrne and the late Ian Wilkie.

Three independent judges selected six winning works which were then purchased by Shell and donated for display in NHS facilities throughout the region. In addition, each winner was awarded £200.

The winners were: Millie Dickinson (Charlestown), Jock Ferguson (St Monans), Ann Watson (St Monans), Roy McGowan (Crossford), Mhairi Lafferty (Auchtermuchty) and Marjorie Rae (Torryburn).

The handover lunch was attended by Teresa Waddington, Plant Manager, Shell, Mossmorran, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick, Chairperson, NHS Fife and Michelle Sweeney, Director of Creative Development, Fife Cultural Trust.

Teresa said: ‘This is the first time I’ve been involved with Fife Art and I was very impressed with the energy of this creative community. The quality of the artwork on display was superb and I noted that many participants had gone above and beyond in taking creative risks to make inspirational and dynamic pieces.’

Art competition winners (from left) Millie Dickinson, Jock Ferguson, Ann Watson, Roy McGowan, Mhairi Lafferty and Marjorie Rae.

Michelle Sweeney said: ‘Fife Cultural Trust is delighted to be hosting this remarkable exhibition once again in 2018. This will be the 35th anniversary of the Fife Art Exhibition and we’re determined to make it even more special than usual.’

Winner Ann West said: ‘I come from a medical background and so it’s hugely significant to me that I’ll have my artwork on display within a healthcare facility.’

Marjorie Ray: ‘I’m thrilled to have been selected as a winner. Now that I know people like my artwork, it’s given me the impetus to go on and create bigger and better works.’

Mhairi Lafferty added: ‘I was incredibly impressed with the venue. I hadn’t been to Lochgelly Centre before and it was lovely to find that the entire exhibition was hung at eye level and very accessible to viewers.’

And Roy McGowan felt: ‘I was so surprised when I got the phone call telling me I’d won, I enter every year and I really didn’t expect this. It’s given me a bit kudos – a feather in my cap.’

The 2017 independent judging panel consisted of: Pauline McGee – Visual artist and former art therapy lecturer; Laura Rigby – Ceramic artist and arts tutor; and Scott Hunter – Contemporary visual artist and recent FifeSpace exhibitor.

The 2018 Fife Art Exhibition is scheduled to take place in Lochgelly Centre from 29 September until 21 November. Entry forms will be available from all Fife Cultural Trust venues from the beginning of May.


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