Kind-hearted Ge­off is vis­i­tors’ choice

Macclesfield Express - - BEFORE THE BENCH - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

APAINTER who won the pub­lic vote in an art com­pe­ti­tion has do­nated his win­nings to char­ity.

As the or­gan­iser of the Mac­cles­field Open Art Ex­hi­bi­tion, Ge­off Archer was shocked to dis­cover he had won the ‘vis­i­tors’ choice’ award, and de­cided im­me­di­ately to do­nate the £100 prize to The Christie hos­pi­tal.

Ge­off, 70, who has been or­gan­is­ing the event since its in­cep­tion three years ago and was re­spon­si­ble for count­ing the votes for the prize, said: “As it turns out, I was the win­ner – which is very flat­ter­ing but also rather em­bar­rass­ing, as the or­gan­iser of the ex­hi­bi­tion and the per­son who counted the votes isn’t meant to win a prize.

“In view of that, I’ll be giv­ing the money to char­ity.

eoff will do­nate the money to The Christie in recog­ni­tion of the work pro­vided by Pat Mount­ford, who runs an art group for can­cer pa­tients at the hos­pi­tal and whose stu­dents ex­hibit in the ex­hi­bi­tion.

Ge­off, of High Street and who taught art at Hen­bury High un­til his re­tire­ment 11 years ago, said: “Most of [Pat’s] stu­dents have never pre­vi­ously picked up a paint­brush in their adult lives but the work they pro­duce, with Pat’s guid­ance, is out­stand­ing and, as Pat says, hav­ing their work on dis­play gives the stu­dents a real buzz.

“The £100 prize money is just a small to­ken of thanks for their ex­cel­lent work, and their con­tin­u­ing sup­port of the open ex­hi­bi­tion.”

Ge­off’s oil paint­ing of an old Ford car, aban­doned in a wood, 50 miles north of At­lanta, Ge­or­gia, is one of a se­ries of paint­ings of the Amer­i­can land­scape he has been work- ing on over the past few years. It caught the at­ten­tion of vis­i­tors to the pub­lic ex­hi­bi­tion and re­ceived the most votes when the vis­i­tors were asked to choose their favourite out of the 188 en­tries.

The se­cond most pop­u­lar paint­ing was Deborah Pol­lard’s paint­ing of ‘Sut­ton Sheep’, with Chrys Ge­orge­son com­ing in third place for his land­scape paint­ing ‘Wye at Bux­ton’.

The Mac­cles­field Open Art ex­hi­bi­tion, held at the Silk Mu­seum on Park Lane, was set up to show­case emerg­ing tal­ent and give lo­cal artists the op­por­tu­nity to ex­hibit their work.

The other three com­pe­ti­tion win­ners, as cho­sen by judges at the start of the ex­hi­bi­tion, were: Hi­fumi Ogasa­hara, from Manch­ester; Peter Davis, from Wilm­slow; and Michelle Stringer, from Mac­cles­field.

●● The ‘Blue Bells’ from Mac­cles­field RUFC – Kate Sadler, Becky Sadler, So­nia Cooke and Amanda Keogh – took part last year

●● Ge­off Archer with his win­ning paint­ing

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