Thursday 28 June 2012

Visit to Newton Field Study Centre

Saturday saw a group organised by the Friends of the Library and Friends Kagam to Newton, the remaining part of a cluster of villages between Geddington and the A6003.   

The Field Study Centre is the Church of St Faith, much treasured by novelist J.L. Carr.   Adjacent, we visited the site of the Tresham mansion of which just the dovecotes and the fishpond remain.

Newton was invloved in a series of peasant insurrections that spread across Nothamptonshire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire in 1607, triggered by landowners like the Treshams enclosing what had traditionally been common land.

(the dovecotes - what remains of a great Northamptonshire house)

The insurrection was violently put down, and over 40 villagers lost their lives in the final confrontation.

 (interpretation board recording the Newton rebellion of 1607)

The visit was a follow up to a fascinating evening talk given by John Padwick to the Friends of Kettering Art Gallery and Museum earlier in the year.

You can find out more at the website: Newton Rebels ...

Wednesday 27 June 2012


All these talks are at 7.30 pm in the Alfred East Art Gallery. They are free to Members of the Friends of Kettering Art Gallery & Museum.  Public tickets are £3.

(click on the entries for a larger text)

Also - Saturday 5 August
NASEBY BATTLEFIELD TOUR with the Battlefields Trust. Special price £5

Monday 25 June 2012

AEG: New Image Unveiled - June 22nd

Nicely on schedule for the Torch Relay passing by, the Gallery now has a much more prominent image ('profile', even) designed by Chris Prout and funded by the Friends of Kettering Art Gallery and Museum.

This was publicly unveiled at noon on Friday by Friends Chairman John Wilson in the company of Coucilors, members of the Friends and media along with the artist and Exhibitions Officer Katie Boyle.

John Wilson, said: “We hope the new signage will create a new brand image for the art gallery and museum complex. We expect to support further work to improve the museum’s signage as well, and to have additional signage in other parts of Kettering town centre. In this way we hope to draw in more visitors to the cultural quarter generally.”

Val Hitchman, Kettering Borough Council’s Head of Community Service said: “The Friends of the Art Gallery and Museum and local suppliers have been very generous and we really hope the new look helps further promote this valuable cultural asset in the heart of Kettering.”

 (the full set of new signs and banners)

You can help support this sort of initiative by joining the Friends of Kettering Art Gallery and Museum (Membership Form)

Latest What's On .. July - September 2012

Just got my latest 'What's On' guide (for July - Sepember)

Full of information on local events ...  You can download a copy from the Council website  ( What's On )

Museum highlights ... 'Beside the Seaside' 14th July to 1st September (taking a trip down memory lane) ... 'Amercian Arrivals' 8th September to 17th November (WW2 legacy of American airforce personnel) ... Gallery highlights ... 'Passion2Print' 25th July to 25th August ... 'Digital Art' 1st September to 29th September (showcasing the work of artists trained in computer media) ...

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Improving Web Resources

We're having a bit of an overhaul at the moment.   I am tidying up the Friends website (Friends KAGAM) meanwhile KBC have been rebuilding the Museum and Gallery pages - much more info and much better navigation (have a look)

If 'social media' are your thing, we have a Facebook Page (please go there and 'like' us: nice comments appreciated, too ...) and we are looking at Twitter.  But what do you think?

Don't forget there is a visit to Newton in the Willows coming up  (Saturday 23rd, in conjunction with the Friends of the Library - info here)

Thursday 14 June 2012

Open 12 at the Alfred East Gallery

The evening of Thursday 3 May saw a special launch of Kettering Borough Council’s Alfred East Art Gallery’s annual Open art exhibition, Open 12. 

The event, attended by over 100 visitors, saw four artists receive awards for their work demonstrating artistic merit and originality. Visitors to the Gallery on Sheep Street in Kettering have until Saturday 9th June to vote for their favourite. 

All the works are for sale.

Artists working in all media across Northamptonshire and adjoining counties were invited to enter into this year’s Open 12 exhibition, showcasing the work of emerging and established artists. These items were then selected by a panel of local arts professionals crediting outstanding items. 

The four artists each received a cash award for their submissions kindly supported by Kettering Borough Council and the Friends of the Museum and Art Gallery who supported the award for best sporting theme.

Award of £350 for the painting, ‘Financial Gold Rush’ presented to Derek Brittan

Award of £250 for the painting, ‘Dicentra Hearts’ presented to Andree Fletcher

Award of £150 for the painting, ‘Evening Walk, Dorset’ presented to Brian Mutton

Award of £100 for the Mixed Media piece ‘Going for Gold’ presented to Heather
Wharam by Friends of the Museum and Art Gallery

Valerie Hitchman Head of Community Services said: “once again we have had an
overwhelming number of entries covering all media for this year’s Open 12. As
always the standard has been exceptionally high and our judging panel have had the
hard choice of selecting their winners but now we are offering visitors the chance to
cast their vote. The artist who receives the most votes will be offered an exhibiting
opportunity at the Alfred East Art Gallery in 2013.”

Kettering Borough Council invited all artists living or working in Northamptonshire or the adjacent counties to submit works of art to be considered by the independent exhibition selection panel of arts professionals: Chris Prout Artist and Winner of the Open 11 Public vote; Friedemann Schaber Senior Lecturer in Design at the University of Northampton; Katie Boyce Gallery Officer.

This year there were 216 works submitted to Open 12 at the Gallery and of these works, 87 have been selected for inclusion in the exhibition.   Artworks were chosen on their artistic merit, with the overall aim of producing an exhibition which highlights the quality and diversity of artistic practice in the region.

This panel of judges also chose the artist awards.