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The themed element of portraiture is a new angle for the Shetland Open exhibition that has been running annually for over 15 years and it has truly captured the imagination of Shetland’s artists.

 As has always been the tradition the Shetland Open is a non-selective exhibition of work by amateur, professional and student artists and craft-makers linked to Shetland by birth, education or residency. Each exhibitor, aged 18 or over, is allowed to exhibit one piece of work up to 1x1m in size.

 There are five prizes of £100 each, one in each of following categories: Painting and Drawing, Print, Photography and New Media, Craft of Sculpture  and ‘First-time Exhibitor’. Prizes were awarded at the preview of the exhibition on September 10th as follows:

Photography and New Media: John Carolan

Painting and Drawing: Claire Laurenson

Print: Mandy Tait

Craft and Sculpture: Jayne Kelly

1st Time Exhibitor: Amy Irvine

The prize money has been generously donated by the following sponsors:

Vaila Fine Art, John Goudie, North Rock Gallery, Shetland Arts and Crafts Association and A9. Each prize will be matched by a further £100 from Shetland Arts to develop each artist’s work for a joint exhibition at Bonhoga in August 2011.

 Jane Matthews, part of the Bonhoga Programming Group, said, ‘this is a great way to encourage artists who may not otherwise get the opportunity to exhibit work on such a scale. For the winners to be given a joint show has great development potential for the artists, which is what we aim to achieve’.

 To make way for a revised exhibition structure at Bonhoga in 2011 the Shetland Open will now be a biennial exhibition, taking place every two years with the winners’ exhibition in the intervening year. Shetland Arts will be introducing the new structure of seven, rather than the current ten, shows per year to enable more investment of both time and money into each show. Jane Matthews explains, ‘we want to keep increasing the standard of our exhibitions while at the same time diversifying, introducing new types of work that will inspire and challenge our audience. We have some fascinating shows lined up for next year showcasing everything from painting and photography to bizarre interactive dance screens! The winners of the Shetland Open will add to this great mix of styles and media.

View images from the exhibiton

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