Our 2022 exhibition showcased 120 works of art and welcomed over 700 visitors and, with exhibits in watercolour, oil, acrylic, pastel and mixed media, as well as sculpture, wire and mosaic, there was truly something for everyone. Indeed 543 visitors took part in the People’s Choice competition, voting for their favourite exhibit, with Jeannie Pakenham of Longwood scooping both the People’s Choice prize and the award for the Best Watercolour Painting for her painting The Sightseers.

Gordon Thoday, Jeannie Pakenham, Robin Moore and Gill GrantThe exhibition was sponsored for the fifth year by Hellards estate agents and opened by Gill Grant, founder of the Alresford Arts Festival and Manager of the Light Room in Alresford. “Exhibiting is terrifying,” said Gill, “so why do we do it? Promotion? Baring your soul to the world? What if no one likes it, or worse is very critical? I believe we exhibit our work because we are courageous, but more than that we simply love what we do and hope that people will come and at the very least love to look.

“Professional artists are delighted when they do sell a piece,” she said, “likewise, the amateur artist sits happily in a haze of smiley self-belief. It makes it all worthwhile to sell a piece, to have a person fall in love with it enough to make a connection and want to see it every day in their home and it changes the perception we artists have of ourselves and of our work for the better. The studio, whether it be a kitchen table or converted barn - can be a place of solace, pleasure and achievement, or conversely of frustration, problem-solving even loneliness.

“Here in Alresford we are blessed with many things, one of which is undoubtedly The Alresford Art Society which since 1965 has been supporting, educating, inspiring, helping, promoting, collaborating and offering meetings and days out with other artists and obviously exhibiting - creating a real and long-lasting legacy and artistic community,” she declared.

Other exhibition winners were Best Oil - The Blyth at Walberswick by Ken Crowhurst; Best Floral or Botanical painting - Cyclamen by Sue Cox, Best Acrylic - Washing Day by Julie Hepenstal, Best Mixed Media - Copse and Landscape by Jean Wheeler, Best 3D - Bull Mastiff by Alice Aernout. The Best New Exhibitor to this year’s exhibition was Windmills of My Mind by Catriona Mills.

1. Best Floral or Botanical painting, Cyclamen by Sue Cox

Cyclamen - Best Floral by Sue Cox

2. Best Oil, The Blyth at Walberswick by Ken Crowhurst

The Blyth at Walberswick by Ken Crowhurst

3. People’s Choice winner and Best Watercolour, The Sightseers by Jeannie Pakenham

The Sightseers, Jeannie Pakenham

4. Best Acrylic, Washing Day by Julie Hepenstal

Washing Day, Julie Hepenstal

5. Best New Exhibitor, Windmills of my Mind by Catriona Mills

Windmill of My Mind by Catriona Mills