Williamson Open Opens to a great reception.
The Williamson Art Gallery has just opened a wonderful new exhibition with over 350 works from artists with a Wirral connection. The Williamson Open will be in Galleries One to Three until Sunday 8 May 2016.
After Birkenhead opened its first Museum and Art Gallery in 1912, there were two Spring exhibitions but the First World War stopped them and the initiative was not picked up in the town after-wards.
The Borough of Wallasey, however, did take it up and from 1962, a Spring Exhibition was held each year at Earlston Library. Following the creation of Wirral Borough Council, the exhibition became open to all in Wirral but continued to be show in Wallasey until 1983 when the first Wirral Spring Exhibition was held at the Williamson.
In 1989, the exhibition was opened to photographers, with the support of Birkenhead Photographic Association who had until that time had almost exclusive rights to photography exhibitions in the gallery. In recent years the exhibition has been renamed as the Williamson Open.
Colin Simpson, Principal Museums Officer for the Wirral Museums service after the hanging of the exhibition said:-
“We must have been mad to accept so much work for this year’s exhibition. “
It is obvious however from the response from the private view with over 400 visitors that the exhibition has hit the right note.
Former prize winner, West Kirby painter Dennis Spicer said on the gallery’s facebook page:- “Excellent show this year”
It has been a consistent factor that prize-winners are purchased for the gallery collections. In this way, The Williamson has acquired some fantastic work to maintain its representation of local artists that stretches back over 200 years.
The 2016 Purchase Prize Winner was recent graduate from Wirral Met College, Felix Leyland with his painting Holding Zone.
The Photography Prize (from the Friends of the Williamson Art Gallery and Wirral Museums) went to Oxton artist, Roger Sinek for his Untitled photograph taken in Dusseldorf.
The public can vote for the People’s Choice award – The Kriterion Award and catalogue’s of all the exhibits is available for £2.
Williamson Art Gallery and Museum
Slatey Road, Birkenhead, CH43 4UE,
Tel: 0151 652 4177
Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm, closed Monday & Tuesday
Fully accessible, free parking, free wifi and cafe available.