Art lovers scoop prize

Louise Chapple, Marketing Executive for sponsors Wave 105, ''presents the best art/community award to The Fareham Art Group
Louise Chapple, Marketing Executive for sponsors Wave 105, ''presents the best art/community award to The Fareham Art Group
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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WHEN Fareham Art Group donated a patchwork painting of a teddy bear to a worthy cause, it didn’t expect to receive any recognition.

But now members are celebrating after they won Best Community/Art Project at the We Can Do It awards because they gave the Rainbow Centre – which supports children with cerebral palsy and adults who have suffered a stroke, MS or Parkinson’s disease – the gift.

The group of art lovers made ‘Big Ted’ by painting individual squares and fitting all the sections together.

They copied the art work from an original painting produced by Titchfield artist Helen Brown.

Barbara Kenny, chairwoman of Fareham Art Group, said: ‘We’re absolutely shocked and delighted to pick up this award. We never thought for a second we were going to be nominated. We felt that many of the other nominees had done something bigger for the community.

‘When we made the patchwork painting we just thought it would be a good idea to donate it to the Rainbow Centre to help brighten up the lives of the people it looks after. We try to do as much as we can for the community.’

Fareham Art Group has a pop-up shop in Fareham precinct, next to the BHS store, where it sells some of the stunning pieces of work members have created.

This year the group donated £2,000 from its sales to Community Action Fareham.

The runner-up in the category was Oliver Merkin, a Southsea artist who produced a mural on empty shops near the entrance of Cosham in a bid to brighten up the town. He was unable to attend the awards and his prize was collected by First Wessex, which commissioned the project, on his behalf.

To watch a video of the awards night, click here