Pauline Mercier Award
In 2022 the RGA introduced a new award, the Pauline Mercier Award for work in 3D. The award, which is in commemoration of one of our past members, is presented at our Annual Exhibition alongside the Marie Dyson Award. It is to run for 10 years, that is up to and including our 100th exhibition.
This award for 3D work will cover ceramics, glass, stone, woodcarving, modeling, construction, assemblage, and more, with the aim to encourage more members to think beyond the flat plane.
Pauline Mercier (1925 – 2016) was an active member of the RGA from 1962 to 1987. The only child of New Zealand artist Ernest Heber Thompson (1891 – 1971), Pauline was brought up in London attending the Harrow College of Art in 1942 and joining the WRNS in 1943. After the war, she went to the Central School of Art and Design to study textile design. Pauline married Paul Mercier, a lecturer in the Reading University Education Department in 1947. She later joined the RGA, exhibiting for the first time in 1962. During the 1970s Pauline taught painting and pottery for Berkshire adult education. She also set up her own pottery studio and collaborated with a group called Intermediate Technology, designing a pottery cooking stove that used minimal fuel. When her husband retired they moved to live in the Lake District, where she was active in the Kendal Art Society. Family life was central to Pauline’s philosophy and she combined her artistic life with domestic duties and six children. Her son Chris Mercier continues the family’s artistic heritage and has been an active member of the RGA since 1991.