From Artists:

“All the Ludlow Summer Open shows were curated by Jo King.  She has the ability to take the viewer on a journey through a gallery, using the space well, and with gentle thematic links allows each piece of art to speak for itself.  It is quite hard to do this with the huge range of work you get in an Open.  In 2009 Jo curated “10 Artists for Christmas” in Stanton Lacy, hanging work skillfully in an unconventional space.  The show was a great success, and on the strength of that I asked Jo to curate my recent one-man show outside Presteigne, which received comments on the thoughtfulness & quality of curation.”

Justine Cook, Artist, Powys, September 2011.  jcsculpture@gmail.com

“I thought I must write and say how impressed I was by the show.  I have been in other open competition exhibitions, and the Ludlow Contemporary was excellent.  I was very pleased with the transparency of the judging process, then struck by the size, light and space in the gallery, no tiny rooms or basements, then delighted with the quality of the work.  Of course it is always a pleasure to be at such a vivacious private view, and selling a piece of work to one of the selectors was the cherry on the cake.  The contacts I made were a real boost to my making.  The quality of the curation, & the success & ambience of the show was down to you, your attention to detail, professionalism, approachability and enthusiasm.  I feel very fortunate to have been selected in 2009 & 2010.  Ludlow was a great place to visit – the town was certainly buzzing after the private views this year!”

Peter Crush, Artist, London, September 2010.  petercrush@yahoo.com.au

“As a final year undergraduate student in July 2010 I found working with Jo & exhibiting at Ludlow a very rewarding experience.  The exhibition in Ludlow was the first time I showed my work to the public outside higher education, and I sold one of the two works I had on show, which was just amazing.  Since then I have gone on to exhibit a further 10 times in 12 months.  It was Jo’s passion, organisation and encouragement which pulled such a great exhibition together and I would have no hesitation in applying to the show again.”

Mark Beattie, Artist, Notts, August 2011.  mtbeattie1@gmail.com

“I am very glad I came up to Ludlow for the PV, and thank you for introducing me to Yvonne Crossley.  Congratulations on your determination to bring together the show despite these difficult times.  The pv was a real success and I hope to be part of it again in the future.  I hope the 2nd pv evening was another success!”

Giulia Ricci, Artist, London, August 2010.  giulia.ricci@yahoo.co.uk

“I entered the Ludlow summer open because it had some really high calibre judges and had exhibited some artists that I greatly admire. I was delighted to be accepted in 2010 and felt the Curator Jo King and her colleagues were very respectful, friendly and organised, making me feel valued and seen as an artist. Jo also made it easy for those of us that were in London to transport our works to a pick up point, so we did not have to pay excess travel expenses.  I was lucky enough to be able to attend the opening and was made to feel really welcome by all those working at and attending the private view. The competition has led to me being in touch with a major London Art Dealer which makes it even more of a fantastic opportunity. I do hope you get more funding to create more exhibitions. I think it’s a great opportunity.”

Rosalind Davis, Artist and AIR Council Member. Aug 2011Rosalind.davis@network.rca.ac.uk

“Belated congratulations on the 2009 Exhibition. The work looked great & the setting & hang was generous & sensitive. It contrasts with other open shows.  The venue was a surprise; hidden from the street with the move from the first darker interior to the courtyard & then to the modern gallery providing a contrast which served well.  Thank you for the opportunity to show my work.  I was very flattered by Philip Harley’s kind words about ‘Wind Instrument’.”

Prof. David Hamilton, Emeritus Professor, Royal College of Art.  Chichester, Aug 2009.


“I thought the Summer Exhibition looked even better than last year (& I was very impressed then).  Well done.  It all looked very elegant, sharp & considered: not too crowded, lots of air around each piece of work & an underlying clarity of vision.  So I think all the work hung was shown to advantage.  I wish all open exhibitions were so professionally shown.  The private view was very well attended, so I hope you feel it was successful & worth all your hard work.”

Prof. David Hamilton, Emeritus Professor, Royal College of Art.  Chichester, Aug 2010.


“Months after your email saying there will be no Ludlow exhib this year, this is to say “what a shame” and that I (along with many others I am sure) hope that you will find the means to continue in future years.  These are not good times and finding the wherewithal to run an open exhibition must be hard.  You know, because I have said it before, that I think the Ludlow exhibitions have been among the best quality work with a clarity & sensitivity in the hanging which gave each work space to breathe and to be seen at its best.  Opens are always a bit of a gamble for the organisers and the artists, but it was a pleasure to be part of the Ludlow Summer Exhibitions & I hope it can be found an alternative life.”

Prof. David Hamilton, Emeritus Professor, Royal College of Art.  Chichester, April 2011.


“The Ludlow Summer Exhibition is a very important show for Ludlow & the region. The Welsh Marches area has very little exposure to contemporary art at a national & international level, & the Ludlow Summer Exhibition has provided one of the few opportunities for people here to encounter it. The Exhibition was sorely missed this year. It has been excellently & efficiently curated in the past & the Exhibition’s venue at Ludlow College is well suited to the purpose. I personally hope to see the Exhibition reinstated in Ludlow next year.”

Simon Denison, Photographer, Shropshire, August 2011.  sdenison@pobox.com

“I just wanted to thank you for all your help during the Ludlow Contemporary Art Exhib.  It was a good show of high quality & a great chance for the public to see contemporary art outside of London!  It was such a thrill to sell two of the three works selected, and to win the prize, and you will be happy to know that it has been spent on insulating and converting an old Victorian shed into a useful studio space.  It means I can return to painting on a larger scale, & I am planning to show some new work in my new space this year.”

Felicity Warbrick, Artist, Shropshire & London, October 2010.  felicitywarbrick@virgin.net

“Jo, I am just emailing to let you know that I have been accepted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize this year.  I met Alan Grieve at the private view last August, and thought I would go for it!  I thought you would want to know.”

Felicity Warbrick, Artist, Shropshire & London, August 2011.  felicitywarbrick@virgin.net

“The Ludlow Open was as exciting to be selected for as the Oriel Newtown & The Mall Galleries. They are on an equal footing in terms of range, risk and quality.  I have been in many group shows as a local artist & by far the most high profile was the Ludlow Open.  It is a great boost to exhibit along side established artists and to sell, thanks to Jo’s hard work.  In terms of my work, it led directly to an exhibition of Drawings at the Silk Top Hat Gallery.”

Lois Hopwood, Artist, Shropshire, August 2011.  lois.s.hopwood64@btinternet.com

 From Selectors:

“I greatly enjoyed being on the selection panel for the LSE, and would be delighted to sit on the panel again. There are too few opportunities to bring national art work to the area, and it is such a shame to loose the momentum we have so far achieved. Ludlow College is a perfect venue, you consistently create & curate strong shows in the modern setting, and there is more to do. I would really encourage you to build on this and go for funding.”

Dr Yvonne Crossley, Director, The Drawing Gallery, May 2011.

(Yvonne was a show selector in 2009 & 2010).  ycrossley@thedrawinggallery.com

“I am glad the show went well.  My father was very impressed so I got a full report after my holiday.  The quality of work is very impressive Jo, I enjoyed the judging process, & it gave me an opportunity to see lots of work by artists I hadn’t come across before.  I hope planning goes well for next year.”

Lara Grieve, Jerwood Foundation, London, September 2010.

(Lara was a show selector in 2010).  lara@jerwood.org

“You have achieved so much in the first years – it seems such a shame that things can’t stack up for this year, but great that you will be going for “Ludlow Open” – great name! – next year.  I wish you the very best, please keep me in the loop.”

Philip Harley, Director of Modern Painting, Christies, London.  January 2011

(Philip was a show selector in 2008 & 2009).  pharley@christies.com

 “You have made a very convincing case in going for funding.  The Ludlow Exhibition is a very impressive & worthwhile venture and has collected together some excellent work & provided a much needed forum for practicing artists.  It “works” in prestige & for Ludlow.  Best of luck.”

Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of The Queens Pictures, May 2011.

(Desmond was a selector in 2008).  desmond.shawe-taylor@royalcollection.gsx.gov.uk

“In 3 years the Open at Ludlow has established itself as an integral part of the annual Ludlow Arts program & now has widespread support & backing from the local community & also from further afield.  It has attracted some internationally recognised artists & arts professionals to the College.  Exploring closer links between the Open & the art dept. of the college is really worth considering & will enhance any funding application you make.  Jo, you have put so much time and effort in to the last three years & without you it wouldn’t have happened.  It has been a hugely positive thing for Ludlow & for all the artists involved, & whatever happens, you should be really proud of what was achieved in such a short time & from nothing.”

David Cleaton-Roberts, Director, Alan Cristea Gallery, London.  December 2010.

(David was a show selector from 2008-2010).  david.roberts@alancristea.com