(Jowetts take centre stage at the Prints Charming exhibition at the Alfred East)
Yes ... there's so much going on ...
Sketching Breakfasts and Art Sales at the Kino Lounge on Sundays ... the fabulous Prints Charming extended to mid April (seriously, get down there if you haven't been) ... the friends of the Gallery and Museum open up in the Newlands Centre (a 'pop-up' gallery, if you like) ... Art in Your Attic raises lots of extra funding ...
(exhibitions coming together at Art Works, in the Newlands Centre)
Art Works (well it does, doesn't it?) is a special project taken on by the Friends and KDAS to turn vacant shopping space into Art space, brightening up the centre whilst reaching out to shoppers and supporting and promoting the art and heritage you can find in the gallery and museum at the other end of town.
(Mark Draper ceramics in the Craft Showcase)
January saw the very talented Mark Draper exhibiting his ceramic architecture in the Craft Showcase. I was particularly taken with his reconstruction (if that is the right word) of the unfinished Lyveden New Bield, one of the secret treasures of Northamptonshire.
One of the first things Art Works will be doing is continuing the Art in Your Attic sale that recently finished in the Art Gallery ... this new venture has been a great success and the proceeds all go to supporting the work of the Gallery. There are always bargains to be had and the quality of what has been on display has been a revelation.
(Art in your Attic in its former place in the Long Gallery at the Alfred East)
But the headline of the New Year so far has to have been the splendid Prints Charming exhibition occupying the main rooms of the Art Gallery ... This is both another take on the Permanent Collection and a revelation in the art of print making.
Essentially this exhibition begins the roll out of an extensive project to create digital copies of the collection and make high quality giclee prints available to the public thus both preserving the collection and making it accessible, through the prints, to new audiences.
('Chatterboxes' - always a favourite, now available to take home, too)
The timing has been particularly helpful with regard to the Frank Jowetts in the collection, much in need of repair (and for the conservation of which the Friends have been raising money) ... For now, the challenge has been beyond us - the damage has been extensive and corrections very expensive (and even if the costs were in reach, the capacity has not been there for the staff to undertake the projects) ...
(detail showing some of the alarming deterioration)
The Friends have therefore been able to assist with this project and make Jowett front and centre of the print accessibility project ... and a big nod must go to Kate and Tom of Atelier Editions who have done a remarkable job creating the print collection.
(works by Frank Jowett, now digitally preserved and printed to archival quality)
Rolling the project out across the whole collection will be a massive task - but this exhibition has impressed visitors and marks a good start.
The space vacated by Art in your Attic now has a retrospective exhibition of the work of the late David Williams.
Meanwhile, don't forget the talk on Wednesday evening (this month it is a look at the stories of local convicts transported to Australia) 7:30pm, Weds 20th March ...
... and the Grand Opening of Art Works in the Newlands Centre on Saturday (23rd March).
And by the time you read this there's bound to more exciting things going on.
(Lyveden New Bield by Mark Draper)