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Ipswich Art Society exhibition celebrates Suffolk creative talent with diverse show

PUBLISHED: 19:32 31 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:00 01 June 2019

Felixstowe Cranes, by David King, part of the Ipswich Art Society Open Exhibition 2019 Photo: Andrew Clarke

Felixstowe Cranes, by David King, part of the Ipswich Art Society Open Exhibition 2019 Photo: Andrew Clarke

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Ipswich Art Society's open exhibition represents a wonderful snapshot of Suffolk's creative talent. We take a look at the highlights of this year's show

Blue Wreck, Orford, by Allan Williams, part of the Ipswich Art Society Open Exhibition 2019 Photo: Andrew ClarkeBlue Wreck, Orford, by Allan Williams, part of the Ipswich Art Society Open Exhibition 2019 Photo: Andrew Clarke

One of the cornerstones of the Ipswich cultural calendar is the Ipswich Art Society Open Exhibition. The society is one of the oldest in the country and this year is staging its 142nd exhibition taking over both floors of the Ipswich Art School Gallery to display local artists work.

Being an open exhibition, you don't have to be a member in order to show your work. The only criteria is that it must be of a sufficient standard to be accepted by the exhibition committee's experienced eye. It's an exhibition which celebrates the artistic talent to be found in Ipswich and in Suffolk. The artists are both professional and amateur, although the majority have enjoyed some formal training - many at the Ipswich Art School.

Committee member Andrew Casey said: "Each year we are overwhelmed by the scope and the quality of the work which is submitted for the exhibition. This year we have 275 paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures on display and it really is a wonderful showcase for the talent and creativity in the town.

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"There is a lot more figurative work on display these days. We first picked this up several years ago in our annual Anna Airy show which is open to young artists studying at sixth form level. These trends then tend to move on through to the older artists later, so it good to see this coming through but the key to our open exhibition is diversity and there is plenty of different types of art for everyone to enjoy."

This year's exhibition includes a tribute to Society president Ken Cuthbert who celebrates his 90th birthday this year. Ken is a well known artist in the town and has taught many of the society's members over the years. Ken has been given a room to stage a mini-retrospective of his work, choosing 28 paintings which represent the evolution of his work over the past half century.

Sculpture, by Zoe Rubens, part of the Ipswich Art Society Open Exhibition 2019 Photo: Andrew ClarkeSculpture, by Zoe Rubens, part of the Ipswich Art Society Open Exhibition 2019 Photo: Andrew Clarke

One of the highlights is a vibrant pen and ink drawing of the Sizewell A power station while under construction. The drawing was done as a study for a painting but has never been on public display until now. Considering its a static image, it's one of the most animated pieces in the exhibition.

This year's mayor's award went to newcomer David King for his distinctive portrayal of the cranes at the Port of Felixstowe - an image which jumps out at the viewer, full of sharp angles and bold, primary colours.

The 142nd Ipswich Art Society Open Exhibition runs at Ipswich Art School Gallery (next to Ipswich Museum in the High Street) until June 30.

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