A Sleaford area artist who describes the style of his work as ‘Lowry in Lincolnshire’ has been shortlisted for a prestigious prize.
Alan Parker, of Ruskington, is one of just 87 artists shortlisted in the 2014 National Open Art exhibition out of an original entry of 3,650 works.
It was the highest number of entries ever in the competition, which is the largest art competition in the UK.
Alan specialises in works that depict the folk traditions of the East of England and it is his painting of the Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival that has earned him a place alongside some of the best artists in the UK. A total of 95 works by 87 artists will be assessed by a distinguished panel of judges, with 28 prizes on offer, including the Towry Award for Best in Show, worth £10,000.
Alan has earned many accolades and awards over the years for his work, including the National Portrait Gallery/BP Travel Award.
Commenting on his shortlisting for the National Open Art competition, he said: “I am delighted. It would be lovely to win but there are a lot of good artists in contention.
“This award is a really big deal now and, unlike the Turner Prize, it is about what real people like, which is important to me. A painting is not worth doing if regular people don’t get it.”
Alan is director of art at The Leonardo Centre, Uppingham School, but before going into teaching he had a variety of occupations, including working as a steelworker and a policeman.
He said: “I had a string of other jobs to support myself and my family but now, at the age of 50, I have managed to find that perfect balance. The teaching feeds and fuels my art.”
The shortlisted works will be exhibited at Somerset House in London from tomorrow (Thursday) to October 22, after which the winning works will be showcased at Pallant House, Chichester from December 2-14.
From December 17 to January 4 all the works will be displayed at the Minerva Festival in Chichester.