"What the Artists are saying..."

It was a fantastic evening, and I had a great time talking to so many talented artists and knowledgeable industry professionals. The hosts made everyone feel relaxed, thank you.

Max Morawski.

The Cambridge Invitational Competition has been nothing but a positive experience for me. Just to exhibit again after the year or two that we have all been through is exciting, while the private view was cheerful and inclusive. Good to meet some of the other artists and beneficiaries, and of course to win the Mayor's Award was the icing on the cake. 

The sharing of awards enhanced the feeling of inclusivity while the one-on-one conversations with J and also the Castle Gallery team helped the feeling that you were part of something and appreciated. A big thanks to all involved along the way. Andy Dakin. 

It's been an absolute privilege to be a part of this year's show. All the more wonderful to be a part of a real exhibition after such a challenging year...Clare Millen.

The private view and presentation of the Award trophies were well organised and hosted, making us feel very welcome and relaxed. It was so very nice to meet all the other award winners and be at a real physical private view at last; a fun evening, culminating in a short video interview, and despite it having been a very long and tiring day for me, all in all it was a wonderful experience, and I would thoroughly recommend any artist thinking about it next year to apply. I very nearly didn’t, and I am so glad I did! Since then, even in the past 3 days since the Private View there has been an increase in social media interest, so that is something else to bear in mind to anyone hesitating.

Michael Norcross

I was thrilled to have my work selected for the exhibition and receive my two awards... the John Doubleday Art award was a lovely unexpected surprise, made more special by it being presented by John Doubleday himself. Ann Goddard. 

I enjoyed the awards and preview evening very much. It did feel a special occasion to receive an award from the Deputy Mayor. All the gallery team were very friendly and helpful. The exhibition is well presented, and it is lovely to have my work shown in such a central gallery in Cambridge. Christine Calow. 

“I’m a very introverted person – drinks, galleries and noise are normally enough to send me running for the hills. But everyone on the team did their best to make me feel welcome and I had some good chats with some really interesting people. I thoroughly enjoyed both the quality and the diversity of the winning artwork, and I thought the exhibition was genuinely inspirational. Thank you.

”Martin Southwood. 

The awards evening and private view at Castle Fine Arts was the first time since the start of the pandemic that I have had the opportunity to meet a group of like minded artists and discuss our art practice. This was wonderful, I tried to speak to all the winners. The gallery staff were warm and welcoming as they had been when I dropped off my sculpture the week before. The whole event was perfect for me. Barbara Marshfield. 

I would like to thank all who had a hand in creating such a special and memorable evening.

All of the work was fantastic and the camaraderie, discussion and artistic flair on display is a real personification of the

host of arresting art at the exhibition. Alexander Newman, The Oak Bistro. 

“It was an absolute pleasure to co-host The Cambridge Invitational 2021; the joy of the winners' faces and the opportunities that arise even after the exhibition make this competition very special.

"It was our first event since lockdown, so it felt brilliant for everyone to celebrate and enjoy the awards and exhibition.”

Stacy Bodkin. Gallery Manager Castle Fine Art.


Last night was a really most enjoyable event. The setting was perfect for the exhibition and the atmosphere was friendly and had a real buzz about it. I was delighted to have won the award and then doubly pleased to find I had won the Hilton award as well!, Paul Rodhouse


Thank you, for the excellent organisation, and for inviting me to participate in the contest.

Charles Nightingale..


Its been a huge confidence boost and I'm keen to get stuck into some new work!

Thanks again for all your hard work and encouragement, it’s given me a great footing for 2020

Dario Fisher.

It was an honour to be asked to the Cambridge Invitational Art contest and to see the fantastic art work, and to be able to choose my favourite one. I was so pleased to be able to hand out the awards and to meet all the artists.

Mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Gerri Bird

I would like to thank you for last nights opening. I thought the Private view was very well organised. Rachel Thomas

It was a great evening, glad to have been a part of it all!

Nathalie Staples. Cambridge Contemporary Art.

"We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the beneficiary charity for this exciting new initiative - looking forward to 2020's event! "Emily Bradfield. Arts & Minds.

The Cambridge Invitational Art Contest and Exhibition 2019 Preview and Awards ceremony was a wonderful evening, co-hosted with Stacy Bodkin from Castle Fine Art.

The prestigious awards for the inaugural contest were presented by the Mayor of Cambridge Cllr Gerri Bird along with representatives from our sponsors Mid summer House, DoubleTree by Hilton, Scudamores Punting and Tindalls Art.

The contest raised money for our chosen charity Arts and Minds who were in attendance.

 In addition, our gallery's commission from all sales was donated to them.

I would like to thank all the artists who have taken part this year and those who contributed in creating a new and exciting contest for the City of Cambridge. B.Thornton - Contest Organiser