In his opening address Phil Norrey, the Chief Executive of Devon County Council, highlighted the artistic strength of the county and the wider south west region and how a sense of place and community has a vital influence in the way the landscape is viewed.
'The southwest is a culturally and creatively vibrant area. Its artistic life reflects not only the strong feeling of connectedness that artists have with the place and the people that live there, but also a freedom of spirit which comes from the sense of space and the distinctiveness of our landscapes.
'The South West Academy reflects both the individuality and the strong community bonds, which characterise Devon and its neighbouring counties. It promotes and celebrates individual excellence in the visual arts whilst fostering the collective strength of the artistic community. Academicians both benefit from and contribute to the work of the Trust in promoting appreciation of and participation in the arts within the wider community. The 2016 Academy Exhibition is a brilliant showcase of their work'.
'The South West Academy is the principal Academy based in the far south west of England. It is a registered charity dedicated to advancing the creation and appreciation of the fine arts. Elected by existing members and Trustees, the forty-three Academicians and thirteen Associate Academicians represent outstanding practice in fine and applied arts. Unlike some artist groups it is not constrained by a single methodology but demonstrates significant accomplishment in a diverse range of practices, techniques and genre.'
Further information about the Thelma Hulbert Gallery can be found here.