The Farley Arts Trust biennial awards are greatly valued by all participants and enjoyed by the public who visit the exhibition. It is a unique showcase for the talent of the students at schools and colleges in East Sussex supported by the expertise of their teachers.
On Friday 13 October over 50 award winning GCSE and A level students from across East Sussex secondary schools and colleges gathered in Farleys Gallery in Chiddingly. They were there to find out which 16 of pieces of art work on display had won the coveted Farley Art Trust Awards in each of the different categories. These are selected by Ian Chance, Artistic Director of the Farley Arts Trust, together with Antony Penrose, founding Trustee. The standard was outstanding and choosing winners and those highly commended was even more difficult than usual. A full list of the prize winners is now published. This year the prizes, donated by local and national sponsors, including Abigail’s Drapery, Bakers Photographic, Inwood, Seawhites and national publishers Thames and Hudson and Prestel, were presented by David Dimbleby. The exhibition was then on show, free, to the public on Sundays 15, 22 and 29 October from 10 am to 4.30 pm.
The surrealist category is particularly special. The prize winner this time was Nia Philips of Chailey School with her picture of Rosa and her award is the chance to see her picture hung inside Farleys House, known as the ‘Home of the Surrealists’. For two years her work will hang in the company of paintings and photographs by Lee Miller and Roland Penrose (whose home it was from 1949) and their friends and colleagues: Picasso, Ernst, Miro, Man Ray and many other great artists of the twentieth century.
This year there were also two exciting new awards. The Art on the Move award was provided by the international fine art transport carrier Momentous. They selected Charlie Legh Smith’s (Uckfield Community Technology College) painting which will be reproduced permanently on the side of one of their specialist art transport vehicles that will be seen as it travels all over the country. The other was presented to Numa Begum of Eastbourne Academy by the Fine Arts Society Eastbourne as part of their sponsorship of the art department at that school.
As well as many individual sponsors and donors the 2017 awards were made possible by support from The Chalk Cliff Trust. As a registered charity the Farley Arts Trust is run by its Trustees and volunteers and depends for funding its projects on grants, sponsorship and donations.