Artist returns for major exhibition

An artist who is well-known in Shropshire is preparing for a major exhibition at one of the county’s leading galleries.

Betsy Smith, who lived in Broseley for almost 30 years before moving to France, is returning for the retrospective show celebrating her career.

She will be exhibiting a range of watercolour landscape paintings, inspired by both Shropshire and rural France, at Twenty Twenty in Much Wenlock’s High Street from Saturday, January 28 to February 25.

“I am delighted to have been asked by Twenty Twenty to put on the exhibition and to have the opportunity to return and display a selection of new landscapes,” said Betsy, who is now in her 87th year and is renowned for her bold use of colour and dramatic composition.

With an ambition to paint since a young age, Betsy won a scholarship to art college when she was just 13 years old.

After leaving college she got a job designing fabrics and scarves and this was the start of an interesting career which led to work with an advertising agency in London in the 1950s, a publisher creating book covers and a fashion designer.

In addition she combined raising a family with working in the USA and opening a shop which was also the outlet for her paintings.

A well-known member of the Shropshire artistic community, Betsy taught painting to classes in Bridgnorth and Broseley for 26 years and her paintings have been chosen for many other shows.

Mary Elliott, who owns Twenty Twenty, said: “Betsy is a much-loved artist and personality and we are thrilled that she has agreed to this major exhibition.

“Her work is full of joyous, inspirational images that hold and reflect light and indeed her personality. There is well over half a century of life and love in her pictures with more to come!”