Amanda Drage wins open16 People’s Choice Award

Published: Friday, 3rd June 2016

Local artist chosen as best in Alfred East Art Gallery’s open exhibition

This year’s open16 exhibition at Alfred East Art Gallery saw over 2500 visitors cast 680 votes for this year’s People’s Choice Award, won by local artist Amanda Drage for her fantastic piece, ‘Serenity’. Amanda’s soft pastel drawing of a horse, also won a separate £500 award for artistic merit and originality from a panel of local arts professionals at the open16 preview event.

Kettering Museum & Art Gallery have offered Amanda a solo exhibition in the large gallery in autumn 2017.
The People’s Choice Top 4 were:
1st – Amanda Drage with 166 votes
2nd – Michael Wright with 124 votes
3rd – Stella Benford with 98 votes
4th – Gemma Bee with 60 votes

There were more than 250 entrants to open16 this year and the People’s Choice Award was an exciting deliberation for visitors to the Alfred East Art Gallery. 
On behalf of Kettering Borough Council, Kettering Museum and Alfred East Art Gallery would like to congratulate all of the artists who took part in this year’s open exhibition; the standard was very high and we were impressed with the amount of entrants from new talent and from young artists.

Amanda Drage, winner of the open16 People’s Choice Award, said: 
“I'm thrilled to have been awarded the opportunity to exhibit my work at the Alfred East. It will be my first solo show and I'm looking forward to putting some new work together towards it. I'm overjoyed too at winning the Open show itself, I'd never won any awards with my work so to win both prizes was a huge but welcome surprise!”

Guy Holloway, Head of Corporate & Cultural Services at Kettering Borough Council, said:
“The competition was tight for the open16 People’s Choice Award. Every year the competition encourages more people to come along to the exhibition and also participate in upcoming open exhibitions. The open16 People’s Choice award title is an invaluable opportunity for budding artists to have their work showcased and recognised in the award-winning Alfred East Art Gallery.”

Would you like to be the People’s Choice in open17?

For more information, you can check out the Alfred East Art Gallery’s website at or contact the Alfred East Art Gallery on 01536 534 274.