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The Society of All Artists' Paint A Poppy exhibition, which was opened by Mayor of Newark Mr Tony Roberts, raises money for Newark's Royal British Legion branch


By Connor Thompson


An art exhibition showcasing more than 10,000 poppies has raised £11,800 for a Newark charity.

The Society of All Artists, the United Kingdom's largest community of artists, held an open day at their Newark base and revealed one of their biggest displays yet.

The showcase had 10,687 entries from 4,823 artists, which created a montage of poppies for public viewing.

Mayor of Newark Mr Tony Roberts was on hand to open the Paint A Poppy exhibition.

"I had the honour of remembrance day last year and now this," said Mr Roberts. "The variety and sheer inventiveness of some of the entries is incredible."

The purpose of SAA's exhibition was to celebrate 100 years since the end of the first World War (November 11, 1914).

Society of All Artists official opening of the Poppy exhibition..L-R John Rush - chairman of RBL Newark branch, Wilf Garnett - president of RBL Newark branch, Mayor of Newark Tony Roberts, Niki Browes of SAA (editor of Paint magazine). (8279176)
Society of All Artists official opening of the Poppy exhibition..L-R John Rush - chairman of RBL Newark branch, Wilf Garnett - president of RBL Newark branch, Mayor of Newark Tony Roberts, Niki Browes of SAA (editor of Paint magazine). (8279176)

"We have worked closely with the Royal British Legion (Newark branch) and we want to celebrate those who have served our country and this work is a phenomenal way of doing so," said Carl Gamble, managing direction of The SAA.

Professional artist and watercolour expert Jeremy Ford held a workshop at the event, which also had a guided tour and tv studio demonstration lesson.

John Rush, chairman of Newark's Royal British Legion branch, said: "There are great interpretations of the poppy here and I did not expect to see anything like this.

"Each picture is different but modelled around the same thing (a poppy). It's incredible to see them all together."

Wilf Garnett, the Newark branch president was also at the event. He said he couldn't believe how much money had been raised.

"It been unbelievable," said Mr Garnett. "I've never seen anything like it.

"The paintings are from everywhere, all over the country. The Newark branch has benefited from the whole country and we are grateful for that."

Amateur artists also attended the event to see their submissions.

Niki Browes, editor of The SAA's, quarterly paint magazine, said it was a great effort from everybody involved.

"Lots of people worked hard for this," she said. "It is the most extraordinary collection and people have been putting this together since January."

The poppy exhibition open until the end of May at Millennium House on Brunel Drive, Newark.



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