ILMINSTER Arts Centre’s Open Exhibition got underway this week, with a prize-giving event on July 1.

The exhibition, which is sponsored by Branston of Seavington, will be on display at the Arts Centre throughout July.

Ilminster’s Summer Exhibition is known for its eclectic scope, and is an ideal opportunity to buy work by emerging artists, as well as established names.

This year over 80 entrants submitted work for the scrutiny of a judging panel of three well-known artists: Mark Beesley, Deborah Kolombos and Chris Ackerman (who is also a trustee of the Arts Centre).

The judges awarded first prize to PARTY TIME- a charcoal drawing by Elaine Dixon, which was chosen for being an unusual, intriguing and delicate drawing with unsettling overtones. This is a surreal image with a disturbing edge.

The 3D prize was awarded to THE SHIELD, a sculpture in stone by John Davey.

The joint Runners Up were Michael Tarr for his oil painting Glimpse of Burnham Pavilion, and Nicky Clarke for her watercolour Castles in the Sky 1.

The prizes were presented by Jonathan Taylor of Branston of Seavington.

Ceremony judge Chris Ackerman said:“We had a wonderful response this year to the Open and the resulting exhibition shows the diversity and talent of artists in the South West.

“Our congratulations to the prizewinners and our sincere thanks to Branston of Seavington, for so generously sponsoring the exhibition.”