75th Anniversary Autumn Exhibition, the winner!

The Shropshire Art Society’s 75th Anniversary Autumn Exhibition Social Event on Saturday 7th October attracted a substantial turnout, with local artists from across the Shropshire region in attendance along with their guests. This special anniversary showcase exhibition features an impressive collection of artworks contributed by our extensive membership of over 200 local artists.

The highlight of the annual Autumn Exhibition is the presentation of the Walker Harrison Prize Salver, which is awarded to the painting or artwork that best captures the essence of Shropshire’s stunning landscape. This year’s deserving recipient of the 2023 award was Wilf Langford, whose pastel depiction of “the lane to Bromlow Callow” was lauded for its atmospheric and picturesque qualities.

Wilf Langford, winner Walker Harrison Prize 2023, with Corinne Brown and Mike Marriott
Wilf Langford (winner) with Mike Marriott and Corinne Brown, our judging panel this year

Phil Hadley, our Chair, introduced Corrine Brown, Chair of the Belle Vue Arts Festival, who had been invited to preside over the judging of the prize this year. She was joined by Mike Marriott, a former lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art and a member of the Belle Vue Arts Festival Committee. As independent judges, Corrine and Mike had the challenging task of selecting the winning piece from their shortlist of six outstanding works. They explained that they carefully assessed each artwork’s ability to convey the beauty of the Shropshire landscape and the technical proficiency demonstrated — in Wilf’s case, through the beautiful and sensitive use of pastels.

The Lane to Bromlow Callow, Wilf Langford, winner Walker Harrison Prize 2023
The Lane to Bromlow Callow, Wilf Langford, winner of the Walker Harrison Prize 2023
(please forgive the reflections in the glass in this photo!)

During Corinne’s remarks, she highlighted the Shrewsbury Belle Vue Arts Festival, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. She spoke about their commitment to supporting local artists, including an arts competition that showcased the winning work in the window of Shrewsbury’s Soden Gallery for a weekend.

Mr. Marriott provided insights into the judging criteria used by himself and Corinne for our own prize; he emphasised the importance of capturing the essence of the Shropshire landscape as well as demonstrating the technical prowess necessary to earn the coveted Walker Harrison Prize Salver.

Gratitude was extended to Corinne and Mike, as well as all those who contributed to the setup and curation of the exhibition. Thanks go especially to John Willetts, our Exhibition Organiser, and his team of volunteers. Thank you to Shirley Wade for kindly serving refreshments to us all at the Social Event.

The Autumn Exhibition is being held in the magnificent Bear Steps Gallery, a historic medieval hall meticulously preserved by the Shrewsbury Civic Society. On display are 150 framed and unframed artworks, along with an extensive selection of cards available for purchase.

SAS 75th Anniversary Autumn Exhibition
A glimpse of our 75th Anniversary Autumn Exhibition 2023

The Autumn Exhibition continues until 1pm on Saturday 14th October, 10-4pm daily. We’d love you to visit and enjoy our members’ work!