Lancashire Artist of the Year 2023 winner and finalists revealed
Artists from across the county have been honoured at a special celebration event to bring the first ever Lancashire Artist of the Year competition to a close.
We launched the competition in May and tasked artists – be it unknown talent or those well established in the art community – to produce artwork depicting their favourite Lancashire view in spring, summer, autumn or winter.
Our panel of judges, which included Preston artist Norman Long, Sarah Haworth from Lancashire Adult Learning and Alex O’Toole from Arts Lancashire, pored over the entries to come up with a shortlist of 32.
These 32 entries – eight from each season – were then put to a public vote.
We can now reveal that the overall winner is Martin Williamson, whose beautiful artwork 'Lytham Hall Gateway' secured the most votes from the public.
Lytham Hall Gateway by Martin Williamson
Martin, who lives in Freckleton, and the other 11 finalists were invited to a special celebration event at Lancashire Archives where they received vouchers for an art supply store and copies of the calendar featuring their artwork.
Speaking on the day, Martin said: "I'm completely humbled and embarrassed and extremely honoured to receive this award.
"Thank you so much everybody that voted and congratulations to all the other finalists. What a great competition. Thank you."
All of the finalists' entries will feature in our first Lancashire Artist of the Year 2024 calendar, the proceeds of which will go towards activities to support Lancashire Care Leavers.
Martin's stunning artwork will feature on the cover of the calendar, which will be sold across the county in our libraries and archives. The calendars will be available to purchase from 15th September.
All of this year's finalists attended a celebration event at Lancashire Archives
County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for Community and Cultural Services at Lancashire County Council, said:
"Through this competition, we wanted to celebrate the wonderful artists in our midst, whether they were established figures in the art world or unknown talents.
"We also wanted to showcase the beautiful scenery that we're so fortunate to have in Lancashire.
"Our winning entry from Martin Williamson perfectly encapsulates this.
"We were really impressed with the calibre of entries overall and I would like to congratulate all our finalists and give a huge thank you to everyone who entered this year.
"This competition will now be a regular annual event and so I encourage artists across the county to keep an eye on our website for the launch of next year’s competition when we will be looking for Lancashire Artist of the Year 2024.”
Details of Lancashire Artist of the Year 2024 will be announced in due course at www.lancashire.gov.uk/artist-of-the-year
Lancashire Artist of the Year 2023 judging panel
Winner and finalists
The winner of Lancashire Artist of the Year 2023 is Martin Williamson, for his beautiful artwork 'Lytham Hall Gateway'.
The other 11 finalists are:
- Caroline Assheton – Pendle Hill from Far Foosils Field
- Pat Richardson – Bleak Midwinter
- Sarah Astin – At Wycoller Beck
- Liam McHale – Spring Rising
- Vanessa Skelcher – Wildflower Meadow Near Heysham Village
- Lidia Ranns – Silverdale Beach Cove
- Caroline Mooney – Tarleton Church View
- Feona Hadcroft – Sahasrara – Towneley
- Martin Dooley - Sunset Over Martin Mere
- Carole Pugh – Autumn Reflections – Downtown Blackburn
- Cerys Wrigglesworth – Luminescence on a Winter Night
You can view all of this year's finalists at www.lancashire.gov.uk/artist-of-the-year
Notes to editors
Name and titles of the judges in image 3.
From left to right, back row: Heather Davis, Conservation and Collections Manager for Cultural Services, Lancashire County Council; Andrea Challis DL, Chair of Marketing Lancashire; professional artist Norman Long; Sarah Haworth, Head of Curriculum Art, Family Learning, Health, Wellbeing, Horticulture and Humanities at Lancashire Adult Learning;
Front row: Alex O'Toole, Chair of Arts Lancashire; County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for Community and Cultural Services at Lancashire County Council; and County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, leader of Lancashire County Council