Sunday 14 July 2019

17 July Alfred East Art Gallery

Also in the news this month, well done to the team at Kettering Museum and Gallery: the Manor House Museum won Best Exhibition for the stunning Local Treasures (click on that link for a review we hosted here) at the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum's Awards Night.

(Kettering Museum joined Northamptonshire Battlefields Society, Desborough Heritage Centre and many others in the winning line up at the NHF awards 2019)

Thursday 16 May 2019

May 2019 - How things are made.

('History' ... at the heart of Kettering)

If there has been a theme running through May it has been how things are made.

The first weekend of the month, as well as the now usual open day at ARTworks in the Newlands Centre, the Art Gallery hosted a meet the artists (at work) day as part of 'It's a Joy' - Brenda McKetty, Pat Bustin and Annette Sykes ... with woodworker David Haynes joining them in showing how they work ...

(It's a Joy: meet the artists)

(David Haynes demonstrating traditional skills)

Meanwhile, just down the road at ARTworks ...

On the 15th May, the Friends hosted an evening talk with John McGowan who explained many of the processes of print making from learning lithography and lino cuts to screen printing and to the rich technologies of today.

(John McGowan showing aspects of the print process at the Alfred East Gallery)

A large part of John's fascinating presentation was a step-by-step analysis of how some of his familiar and recent images were made ...

... and the creative decisions that define how images develop over time ...

(John McGowan)

This was a very well received talk and it is hoped that future Kettering events will be able explore these 'nuts and bolts' aspects of the artistic process in coming months.

Next month, Sue Lydia Taylor will discuss 'An Aspect of Women in Art'.  Sue will focus on some well known women artists who have used their self-image to break down some conventions that have impacted on the world today.

June 19th Alfred East Gallery 7:30pm

Meanwhile, here's a quick glimpse of the youngsters' contributions at ARTworks ...

Sunday 31 March 2019

Art Works Opens

On the 23rd March 2019, with the Mayor in attendance, ARTworks, a new art-based community project for Kettering's Newlands centre opened its doors.

The project will extend the reach of the Gallery and Museum to the other end of the town centre - and will hopefully encourage more people to get involved in the town's lively art scene.

The project is a joint venture by KDAS and the Friends of the Gallery and Museum with the management of the shopping centre.

It is expected that the pop-up exhibition space will be open 3 days a week including Saturdays with regularly changing material on show.  Pop in and see what they mean.  The space is a community space so let the team know what you think and help it evolve. 

Here are some more pictures from the opening day:-

The turn out by early afternoon was very encouraging ...

Kettering Art News wishes ARTworks every success.  Let's hope art can be a part of what makes a difference in the 21st Century High Street.

Meanwhile ...

Don't forget April is the month for the AGM of the Friends of the Gallery and Museum.  Another chance to have your say.  Note it is a little earlier than most Friends functions and is at 7:15.

It is followed by a talk by Chair, David Brown on the artists of Skagen.

Monday 18 March 2019

2019: an exciting time for art in Kettering

(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)

Wednesday 13 March 2019

Dates for your diary in March 2019

MARCH 2019
Weds 20th March at 7:30 - make a date.

Then, on Saturday the 23rd, a new venture opens in the Newlands Centre:

Saturday 16 February 2019

Looking back at Local Treasures

Looking back indeed: Local Treasures featured locally found archaeological pieces, from the most modest to the most spectacular - celebrating over 2,000 years of occupation of Kettering and surrounding areas.

(From a broken sword to the Duddington hoard: local treasures reunited at Kettering Museum)

It was also a landmark in that, in assembling the exhibition, the Kettering team were able to have some genuine treasures brought back to Northamptonshire on special loan (probably - for some of us, at least - the only time it will happen in  our lifetimes) ... the Desborough Mirror and the Desborough Necklace are first rank exhibits usually on show in the British Museum.

(the Desborough Necklace in its usual display at the British Museum)

(Phil and Emma at the BM check out the local treasures while collecting the Roman ring acquired with funding from the Friends)

(that beautiful Roman ring, recently dug up in Kettering and now in the Museum collection)

The exhibition was funded by the Weston Loan Programme and Art Fund.  Councillor Scott Edwards, KBC's portfolio holder for Community, Leisure and Youth said it was 'fantastic news to hear that these treasures are coming back to our Borough for the first time and that local people will get a chance to see them.'

Philippa Charles, Garfield Weston Foundation director said -

'We have been blown away by the ambition and creativity of museums and galleries across the UK and Kettering's idea really stood out.'

Councillor Paul Marks reviewed the exhibition for the Friends ...

I went to see the Local Treasures exhibition several times - and each time I became aware of different aspects ... there were a great many aspects to try to grasp.  And what is hard to see, must have been far harder to actually make - the standard of craftsmanship is very high, people in the past were certainly not stupid brutes.

The styles of craftsmanship in the different periods were distinct. But there was a common thread.  What would have been considered beautiful in the Celtic Iron Age would have been considered beautiful in the Roman age, or among the Anglo Saxons.   Yes each style is different - but with a common core understanding of what is beautiful and what is not beautiful ...

Paul adds, ruefully ...

The Modern age, from the 20th Century onward, appears to have decided that the previous standards of aesthetics (what is beautiful and what is not) no longer apply - we have lost that common thread of understanding that united previous generations over time.

(this tiny silver coin was a favourite of mine - depicting a 4-horse Roman chariot)


Reflecting the success and quality of the Local Treasures exhibition, Art Fund featured Kettering's Museum Officer as their Curator of the Month.  A deserved accolade for Karen and a pat on the back for the whole team -click on the picture to read more of the feature.

Wednesday 23 January 2019

London lecture on Anglo American connections

Dr Alison Clarke, 6pm to 8pm, 27th February at the Paul Mellon Centre, WC1B 3JA

More about Tickets ... More about Dr Clarke