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The Victoria Square Art Project: Open Call announces virtual exhibition and prizewinners


Monday, 24 August, 2020

(News source: published on behalf of #WeAreWoking)

In partnership with Victoria Square Woking Ltd and #WeAreWoking, The Lightbox gallery and museum is excited to announce the opening of the much-anticipated Victoria Square Open Call exhibition on The Lightbox website from Wednesday 19 August 2020.

The Victoria Square Art Project: Open Call invited Woking artists, schools, amateurs, and enthusiasts alike to see their work exhibited publicly, win one of 10 'Best in Show' cash prizes and present their artworks permanently to a global audience in the town’s flagship development, Victoria Square.

Anyone from the age of 11 plus studying, working, or residing in Woking, or affiliated with the town in some way, was encouraged to enter artwork to the open call, all eligible to win a prize. From more than 400 submitted artworks, the panel of judges selected 121 pieces, ranging from paintings to photographs and textiles to sculpture, that best and most diversely represented the creativity of the people of Woking town.

The judging panel were looking for works with a contemporary feel, reflecting contemporary themes and concerns, with the overall aim to connect the development to the town and its people. Of the selected works, some will be permanently displayed throughout the Victoria Square development and in the hotel, once it opens in 2021, publicly and permanently expressing the creativity of Woking artists in the heart of the town centre and to the international audiences using the hotel.

Prizewinners include William Butler for the category, Drawing, Francoise Davies for Photography, Layona Bungay for Painting and Dawn Conn for Sculpture. Charlie Tolley won the category for Textiles, and Barbara Nati for Print. Prizewinners in the 11-19 age group categories were Emmeline Stanley, Mana Komatsu, and Annie Lewry. Winners were announced at a virtual Private View of the exhibition on Tuesday 18 August, which saw 150+ online visitors attend to celebrate Woking.

Marilyn Scott, Director of The Lightbox, commented, “The talent and brilliance of our local artistic community shone through in this competition. The standard of the work is incredibly high, and the judges found it hard to make the final selection. We were initially nervous about trying to continue the project during lockdown, but everyone rallied round amazingly and submitted work. Perhaps having a little more time at home encouraged creativity – it certainly produced some exceptional pieces and we really hope everyone enjoys the online exhibition.”

Cllr David Bittleston, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: “It is an exciting time to be a Woking resident, as we transform the borough into a thriving community for future generations by creating a vibrant, cosmopolitan centre in which people will be proud to live, work and play.

“I am delighted to see so many artists sharing this passion for our borough by submitting their works to the Victoria Square Art Project. The enthusiasm we feel for the changing face of Woking has been reflected in the great variety and outstanding quality of artwork that has been created. It will be a pleasure and a privilege to display so many stunning works of art in the new Victoria Square development and my only regret is that there could not be more winners selected.”

Borough-wide initiatives such as these are invaluable in helping to spread The Lightbox’s message that 'art has the power to make you feel good', as well as supporting the organisation’s social purpose, to improve the quality and lives of its community.

The exhibition of selected artworks is available to view on The Lightbox website.

View the Victoria Square Art Project virtual exhibition