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The 2012 OBA Award

Exhibition preview

THE SHORTLIST for the inaugural Oldie British Artists Award (OBA), launched earlier this year by The Oldie magazine and specialist heritage and fine art insurer Ecclesiastical, has been drawn up.

In true Oldie style, and following great deliberation by the judging panel, the works of eleven artists have been selected, instead of the originally planned shortlist of ten, and these will be on public view at St Mary-le-Bow Church, London, from October 8 to October 12 prior to the award ceremony on October 16, 2012.

The eleven over-60s artists, whose works will be on display and now go through to a second round of judging in September, are:

Gerry Dudgeon, Beaminster, Dorset; Anny Evason, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex; Mac Gregory, Boston, Lincolnshire; Henry Hagger, London; Adrian Hemming, London; Suzan Swale, London; Elizabeth Vibert, Bristol; Giles Winter, London; Sheila Wood, Claverton, Nottinghamshire; Marjorie Wrentmore, London; and Donald Zec, London.

Entries for the OBA Award closed on July 31, 2012 and the organisers have been delighted with the enthusiastic response in its first year. Over 300 figurative paintings were submitted by artists from around the country, from the Shetland Islands to the Isle of Wight.

The judging panel, chaired by painter and sculptor Maggi Hambling CBE and including Richard Ingrams, Editor of The Oldie, Huon Mallalieu, Arts Correspondent of Country Life, Philip Athill of Abbott and Holder Gallery, and Clare Pardy, Fine Art Underwriting Manager at Ecclesiastical, now faces the challenge of selecting the winner of the competition in a second round of judging which will take place in September.

The winner of the first ever Oldie British Artists Award will then be announced on October 16 at a glamorous event at the English Speaking Union in London.

Richard Ingrams, Editor of The Oldie, commented on this year’s submissions: “The standard of the entries was amazing and the Award received an excellent response in its first year. The best part with all the entries was the fact that there wasn’t a drop of formaldehyde in sight.”

Clare Pardy, Fine Art Underwriting Manager at Ecclesiastical, added: “Our thinking behind the Award was to shine a light on not only people who have painted all their lives but also those who have discovered painting in their later years. Gratifyingly, the competition has stimulated some very impressive examples from all sorts of artists which is thrilling.”

The Award was launched in March 2012 to celebrate the work of artists aged 60+ and as a counterblast to the unmade beds of the YBAs (Young British Artists). 2012 also marks major milestones for the founders of the Award: The Oldie’s 20th and Ecclesiastical’s 125th anniversaries.

The winner of this year’s Award will receive a cash prize of £5,000 and an opportunity to exhibit their work at London’s prestigious Abbot and Holder Gallery.

St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, London, EC2V 6AU

Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday, 7.30am to 6pm; Thursday, 7.30am to 6.30pm; Friday, 7.30am to 4pm.