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Moray Art Centre exhibits the winners of Seafest Lossiemouth West Beach Bridge painting competition

By Garry McCartney

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Katie Bagshaw’s vivid and winning depiction.
Katie Bagshaw’s vivid and winning depiction.

LOCAL artist’s paintings of a soon-to-be-gone Moray landmark are on display in a village gallery.

The organisers of the annual Lossiemouth Seafest event teamed up with Moray Art Centre (MAC) to plan a competition for amateur artists of all ages to paint the view from the Lossie esplanade on Saturday, August 14, before the decommissioned West Beach Bridge is replaced by Moray Council.

Marc McPhail enjoyed taking part... and winning!
Marc McPhail enjoyed taking part... and winning!

MAC director Lucy Summers confirmed that, despite a few brief showers, around 30 participants enjoyed the challenge in the fresh air... and were offered advice and encouragement by artist Rob Wigham.

Lucy said: “The Seafest team were keen to make art and creativity part of the festival so they approached MAC to see if we would be interested in coordinating the competition.

“We jumped at the chance to be involved in such a wonderful event and to help get creative juices flowing!

“Being part of the community beyond Findhorn is very important to us and we look forward to being involved in more fun and events like this!”

Scarlett Whitaker’s winning image.
Scarlett Whitaker’s winning image.

Artists Celia Forestal Smith and Kenneth Le Riche had an extremely difficult time judging the high standard of entries that they had to increase the number of categories.

The joint winners in the under-13s section were Marc McPhail and Katie Bagshaw; the 13-17 years joint winners were Scarlett Whittaker and Theo Dukes Ross; and the 18 and over winner was Heather Mercer.

A winner’s smile from Heather Mercer.
A winner’s smile from Heather Mercer.

Mr Le Riche said: “We based our choice of winners on the criteria of: composition; originality; aesthetics; imagination; the poetic; tonal variation; use of colour; texture; sensitivity; and how much of a uniquely felt personal response any piece was to the landscape.

“After considering all of those elements in the mix we were able to decide the winners!”

Theo Dukes Ross picking up his art prizes.
Theo Dukes Ross picking up his art prizes.

On Saturday September 5, MAC – in partnership with Findhorn-based environmental charity Wild Things, Moray Wellbeing Hub and artist Iona Leishman – is hosting a free workshop to promote calm and boost mental health. Wild Things will help the attendees appreciate the creatures, habitats, sights and smells of Findhorn and the surrounding area.

Ms Leishman will then help create joint or individual pieces using found objects and arts materials based on everyone’s experience of the outdoors. All artistic abilities are welcome to attend, from beginners to seasoned artists.

The workshop is from 2-5pm, all materials will be provided and the participants will be invited to show their work in a collection at MAC.

MAC is also looking forward to poetry and music afternoon events during local artist Andrea Turner’s exhibition in October.

MAC director, Lucy Summers, added: “Part of the building is being planned

as a café so anyone will soon be able to drop by, enjoy the buzz here and grab a coffee.

“We want MAC to become a hub for everyone in Moray to relax around art and get stuck into being creative!”

Visit www.morayartcentre.org/ for more information.

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