Gallery visitors win works of art
A trip to Bath & North East Somerset Council's Victoria Art Gallery resulted in two lucky visitors each winning an original painting from a well-known local artist.
The Gallery's recent 'Bath Sky Diary' exhibition profiled over 50 breath-taking skylines painted by Bath-based Philip Bouchard, who decided to hold a prize draw and donate two of his dramatic artworks to it.
More than 1,200 visitors entered the draw during the exhibition (from 8 September to 18 November) for which there were two prizes – one for Bath & North East Somerset Council residents and another for national/international visitors to the Council-run art gallery.
The local winner was Michael Messer from Weston, Bath, who chose a painting of 'Dusk over St. John's, Bath, as his prize and had the added bonus of being presented with it by the artist himself.
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Mr Messer said: "I was delighted to hear that I had won, especially as I know Philip and his work, and had previously purchased one as it was a view of my former home in Church Street."
The prize draw also had entrants from as far afield as Mexico and Australia. The other winner picked out of the hat was Lynda Giles, from Sutton Coldfield, who will collect her prize at a later date.
Philip Bouchard said: "Living in Bath is definitely very special. There is something intimate about it and we all share that. I wanted to have a prize draw as I felt that I would make people feel more involved with the Bath Sky Diary project. I never expected so many people to enter the competition."
Having painted surrealist subjects earlier in his career, Philip Bouchard returned to the physical world around him following a health scare two years ago. As part of his post-surgery recuperation, he decided to paint a different sky painting every day, and thus his 'Sky Diary' was born.
Councillor Cherry Beath (Lib-Dem, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: "We're very pleased to have welcomed a grand total of 21,228 visitors to the Victoria Art Gallery for the 'Radev Collection' and 'Philip Bouchard' exhibitions, which ran from 8 September to 18 November.
"Philip's wonderfully generous prize draw has no doubt helped encourage visitors from near and far to appreciate the Gallery's delights and Bath & North East Somerset Council hopes even more will come to see our two new shows – 'The Society of Wood Engravers' 75th annual exhibition' and 'Bob Rudd: Watercolours' – both opening on 24 November."
The Victoria Art Gallery, near Pulteney Bridge in Bath, is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Sunday from 1.30pm to 5pm and remains closed on Mondays. Attendance is free and the Gallery can be reached for more information on 01225 477233 or online at www.victoriagal.org.uk.
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