THERE were nearly 200 works of art - paintings, drawings, photos, textiles, ceramics and sculptures - entered for the annual open art exhibition at the Pound Arts Centre, Corsham, writes REG BURNARD.

A selection panel had to whittle those down to 98 exhibits for hanging and display at the public showing and prize-giving on Friday.

Russ Tunney, director of the Pound Arts Centre, introduced the judges: Dr Michele Whiting, research artist/academic in Bath, David Cobley, renowned portrait painter from Devizes and Fiona Cassidy, the Wiltshire independent art curator.

Awarding first prize to Janet Coleman, of Bromham, for her painting, The China Cat, Mr Cobley said: “Nothing could be added or taken away; it is perfectly balanced and beautifully presented.”

The second prize, sponsored by Right Angle Framing, of Corsham, went to Bill James, of Corsham, for his drawing, Pierrot, of which Mr Cobley said: “It is astonishing, completely outside anything I could do or even envisage doing; superbly drawn, with great energy.”

Third prize, from Corsham Print, went to Cristina D’Amato, of Melksham, for her painting, Thistles at Cherhill, described by Mr Cobley as: “Beautiful.”

Entrance to the exhibition is free and all works are for sale.

Those attending are invited to vote for their favourite work, the £250 prize for which will be awarded at the end of the show, on Saturday, January 16.

Opening hours are 10 am to 9 pm, Monday to Saturday (closed December 23 to January 2).