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Winners of Rugby Open revealed

THE winners of this year's Rugby Open were revealed during Rugby Art Gallery and Museum's Festive Evening.

Rugby Open 2017The annual celebration of artistic talent attracted nearly 300 entries, with 141 selected to feature in the Rugby Open exhibition.

Bryan Kelly was crowned the winner of this year's Open for his painting, The Red House.

Bryan, a member of Leamington Studio Artists, specialises in 'naive' paintings and takes inspiration from artists such as Van Gogh, Gaughin and Pissarro.

His prize included £1,000 and the opportunity to host an exhibition at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum's Floor One Gallery next year.

Other Open winners included Jane Tilley, who won the World Rugby Hall of Fame prize of £500 for her work, Meadow Life, and Frank Cook, who was awarded the Rugby branch of the Art Society's trophy and £50 for his piece, Canterbury Cathedral.

Philippa Powell was presented with the Rugby and District Art Society prize for her painting, Autumn Colours, and Eric Gaskell won the Picture Perfect award for his piece, Audlem Mill.

The final winners announced at Friday's (8 December) Festive Evening were Isabel Meeke, who won the Sue Byrne prize for her work, Embroidery Eye, and Chloe Bell, whose piece Complete Me won the Martin Valentine award.

The judging panel for this year's Rugby Open comprised sculptor Mike Shaw, who hosted the Sculpting The Museum exhibition at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum earlier this year, Keith Miller, of Dunchurch Photographic Society, Dylan James, winner of the Aiming High youth exhibition at this year's Rugby Festival of Culture, and borough councillors Kathryn Lawrence and Sue Roodhouse.

The prizes were presented by the Deputy Mayor of Rugby, Cllr Tom Mahoney.

Visitors to Rugby Art Gallery and Museum can vote for the Rugby Open People's Choice Award until 31 December, with the winner announced before the exhibition closes on Saturday 13 January.

Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for growth and investment, said: "The standard of entries to this year's Rugby Open was incredibly high, giving judges an unenviable task in selecting the winners.

"I'd like to congratulate all the winners and encourage everyone to pay the exhibition a visit over the Christmas holiday."

For more information about exhibitions and events at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, visit

Photo caption: The Deputy Mayor of Rugby, Cllr Tom Mahoney, and Bryan Kelly, winner of the Rugby Open 2017, with his piece, The Red House.

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