Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
3:17 PM 12th October 2019

Harrogate Open 2019 Winners Announcement

(Left) <i>Motion</i> by Balbinder Broadbent. (Right) Untitled by Neil Bolton
(Left) Motion by Balbinder Broadbent. (Right) Untitled by Neil Bolton
The Mercer Art Gallery’s biennial Harrogate Open opened on Saturday October 12th following the announcement of its winners at a private preview hosted at the gallery yesterday evening.

Over 150 artworks comprising paintings, prints, textiles and ceramics have been selected for exhibition from a cohort of 600 entries by the competition’s judges which included the acclaimed Yorkshire artist Emerson Mayes, York gallery owner Lotte Inch and heritage retail consultant, Michael Richards.

Professional artist, Neil Bolton from Ripon scooped the coveted first prize with a large scale figurative oil painting and the runner up prize was awarded to Balbinder Broadbent from Harrogate for her vibrant, abstract painting entitled Motion. Prizes were presented by Judith Thomas, Chair of the Friends of the Mercer.

Judge Emerson Mayes who has also been a judge for the prestigious New Light competition said: “Both Neil’s and Balbinder’s paintings stood out to us for their confident and skilled painterly technique which in both cases created an arresting finished composition. The hidden narrative in Neil’s painting was particularly strong and left us all very intrigued.

“We were overwhelmed with the standard and variety of the submissions and found making the final selection for exhibition a challenge.”

Highly commended awards sponsored by Friends of the Mercer were also presented to; Elysian Fields by Richard Gray, The Still Centre of the Turning World by Catriona Stewart, Home Life Girl by Jemma Sharp and Twiggy, Not Perfect but Human by Kay Latto.

The Open Exhibition 2019 will be on permanent display at the gallery until January 11 and the Mercer Art Gallery would like to invite visitors to vote for their favourite artwork for the People’s Choice award, also sponsored by Friends of the Mercer, the results of which will be announced in December.

The exhibition is also supported by a Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre Pop-Up Shop. Until Monday November 4 the gallery shop will be stocking a range of handmade, original products created by Henshaws Art Makers. Henshaws, based at Knaresborough provides creative and employability workshops for people living with a wide range of disabilities. The range of gifts available to buy includes hand-printed cards, tea towels, tote bags, beaded jewellery, coasters, and cushions.

For further information visit: