Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) is a national charity that helps older people make informed decisions about meeting their housing and care needs. It has been providing information and advice to older people for 25 years and is a recognised leader in its field. Its services include a free telephone Advice Line and a highly popular website.
The first EAC Over 60s Art Awards took place in 1994. At that time, they were organised almost entirely on a voluntary basis, with judging carried out round the kitchen table, hanging of finalists’ artworks rehearsed around the bedrooms, and frequently, collection of art works for exhibition fitted into volunteers’ schedules. In that first year, they attracted over 1200 entries, with the first finalists’ exhibition at BMA House in Tavistock Square.
In subsequent years, the Art Awards continued to grow, attracting more entries, increased sponsorship and additional volunteers until it grew so big that it required professional management. At the same time, the annual exhibition of finalists’ work grew in size and reputation, moving on from BMA House to Central Hall Westminster, Olympia, the Business Design Centre (where the exhibition shared space with The Artists and Illustrators Fair) and more recently, to The Mall Galleries, The Bankside Gallery, and then The RBSA Gallery, Birmingham.
Over the 18 years since the Art Awards were launched, over 28,350 amateur artists, aged between 60 and 104, have entered the competitions, whilst approximately 1764 have been successful in having their work chosen for exhibition. Almost 50% of artists who enter the competition re-enter in subsequent years.