Heseltine Gallery Open Exhibition opens

Lady Heseltine with Sue Clayton
Lady Heseltine with Sue Clayton

The annual Middleton Cheney art festival celebrating local artisitc talent opened last Friday with Lady Heseltine the VIP.

Artists from South Northamptonshire and North Oxfordshire have filled The Heseltine Gallery at Chenderit School with an array of art for this year’s Open Selected Exhibition, which can be visited daily until May 23.

The exhibition opened with a preview evening on Friday May 10, where Lady Heseltine presented prizes to category winners, selected by this years judging panel; John Childs, Alexandra Williams and Ian Middleton.

Commended Artists included the work by Brenda Stewart with Shallow Waters, Ruth Harris with Gnarled Holly Tree, James Stead with Banbury in the Round, Esther Ross with Alive and Lilian Stageman with Carefree days of Summer.

Artist Esther Ross said: "My abstract piece 'Alive' is named as such in reference to coming out of a period of depression and anxiety in one piece.

"It's a vibrant step of hope in the face of something that people of all ages, especially young people, deeply struggle with.

Esther Ross painting

Esther Ross painting

"It was an honour to have this vivid piece commended by the judges and came as a big surprise and confidence builder as a young (25 yrs old) artist starting out.

"Thank you for the confidence boost."

Judge Alexander Williams, whose gallery Alexandra Williams Pictures sponsored the 3D winners prize of £250, won by Sue Clayton, said: “Nice to see the Heseltine Gallery competition inspiring so many talented local artists.”

The exhibition is part of the annual Oxfordshire Art Weeks event which sees dozens of galleries and artist's studios open their doors for free events. Oxfordshire Art Weeks runs until May 27.

Esther Ross with judge Alexander Williams and Lady Hesletine

Esther Ross with judge Alexander Williams and Lady Hesletine

For a full run down of events visit the festival's website.

Rachel Cronin with Lady Heseltine

Rachel Cronin with Lady Heseltine

Lilian Stageman's,Carefree days of Summer.

Lilian Stageman's,Carefree days of Summer.