An array of art, but just one winner

Katherine Renton with her winning entry for the 2014 Alnmouth Arts Festival poster competition.
Katherine Renton with her winning entry for the 2014 Alnmouth Arts Festival poster competition.

The competition demanded an eye-catching image that is readily identifiable with Alnmouth – and after much debate, Katherine Renton’s oil painting came out on top.

As media partner of the Alnmouth Arts Festival, the Gazette once again ran the contest to find a poster artist for the event, whose work will be used on the posters, programmes and other publicity material for next year’s event.

The 2014 festival – the tenth – will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 21 and 22, and Katherine’s work will be used to advertise the popular event.

Originally from Amble and now living in Hipsburn, she studied fine art at Newcastle and now teaches art at St Paul’s school in Alnwick.

Her watercolours and oil paintings of Northumberland, in particular the coast, depict man’s constant struggle to co-exist with the North Sea.

A record number of entries came in for the competition this year with 17 artists from Northumberland and Tyneside putting forward more than 20 entries.

The judging panel was impressed with the range of styles and mediums, which included everything from watercolours and oil to glass and textiles.

But in the end, the decision was unanimous and Katherine’s painting of the walkway on the beach at Alnmouth was felt to be not only a great piece of art, but also an eye-catching design for posters and publicity material.

Festival chairman Bill Bourne said: “We were delighted with the variety of the artworks submitted in what was a record-breaking year for entries. It was a tough decision, but in the end, Katherine’s painting was an impressive and worthy winner.”

Katherine said: “I’m just starting to establish an arts career.

“My children are a little bit older now and while I work part-time as an art teacher at St Paul’s, I want to establish my art separate to that.

“I just thought the competition was a great chance to take it to the next level.

“I have already started a series of watercolour and oil paintings of the Northumberland coastline and it gives me a real aim that I know I will have a space to exhibit at the festival.”

She added that she hopes it can be an inspiration to the children she teaches.