At the recent Open exhibition at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery visitors were asked to vote for their favourite artwork to take part in ‘Chalk’s Gallery People’s Choice Award’. This award generated a huge debate amongst families who enjoyed exploring the different styles of artwork and discussing their varied opinions. Overall, we had almost 800 votes in what proved to be a popular year for purchasing artwork, with over a quarter of the artwork sold!

L to R Karen Brooking, Harriet and Rosie Wesley

The winner was textile artist Karen Brooking who only began experimenting with fabric and thread during lockdown. Her creation ‘Hare’ is a textured amalgamation of different fabrics and stitching design. Harriet & Rosie Wesley from Chalk’s Gallery, who kindly sponsored the prize, came to meet Karen and present the £250. They also offered her the opportunity to exhibit in their Lymington gallery.

Hare by Karen Brooking

The St Barbe Open is an annual exhibition attracting artists from across Hampshire, Dorset and beyond. Featuring paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, ceramics and textile works there are six different prizes to be won. We would like to say thank you to all our sponsors Chalk’s Gallery, Kate Welsh, Coastal Gallery, Gordon Young and Beaulieu Fine Arts and encourage artists to enter next year – they might win a prize!

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