The walls are painted, the sign is back up (with all the letters), Robert Raschke’s sculpture looks fantastic, the sun is out (well, sort of)….Tenby Museum and Art Gallery is now open daily and ready for action! There is a great new art show, Connected Threads, featuring the work of five mixed media textile artists – Laura Thomas, Julia Griffiths Jones, Sian O’Doherty, Debbie Smyth and Ann Sutton; there is the newly introduced and massively fun #museumselfieportrait to be taken; there are more quiz sheets on transport and animals and holidays and loads of plans afoot for exciting new projects! Come and visit us on Castle Hill, don a silly hat and enjoy a great day out!
To paraphrase the Two Ronnies …and now some news…
This is just to report that the free pointillism day for kids, I Must Be Dotty…., held at Tenby Museum & Art Gallery on Thursday 19 February was an absolute roaring success. Over 40 children (and 23 adults), ranging from 2 years of age through to 43 years of age (the big kid that is the Collections Manager) thoroughly enjoyed dotting pages with paints, creating fantastic works of art. There were flags and sunrises, snails and pirates, flying kites and dragons, chimney oranges, bonfire reds, robin egg blues, shamrock greens, a spotty palette of shades and hues that brightened the gallery for over two, laughter filled, joyous hours. Thanks must be extended to Kathy Talbot who hosted the event and gave the children’s imagination an important free rein.
When people ask, what are the point of museums and why do we need them, well surely events such as this dismiss the question with a nonchalant shrug of the shoulders as if to say, there you go, what more needs to be said? Educational, informative, entertaining, fun. Museums are an imperative part of the world and when they are gone, they are gone. Support your local museum as often and as generously as you can; the rewards in return are multi-fold and long lasting.
The new exhibition at Tenby Museum & Art Gallery, the first for 2015, is Mermaids, Molluscs and Mosaics: A Primary School and Community Group Exhibition.
The exhibition, generously sponsored by Valero, features the work of four Pembrokeshire Primary Schools – Sageston CP School; St Teilo’s CP School; Saundersfoot CP School and Tenby Junior Community School – and two community groups – The Avenue Social Activity Centre, Tenby and Hafal Tenby Resource Initiative.
Kurt Vonnegut once wrote about the processes of creativity, “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” The children and clients who have submitted work to the show must have developed wings of gold for the imagination and creativity on show in the exhibition are phenomenal.
The original theme of the show was What We Find on The Beach and the school’s work reflects this theme. There are pictures created from netting, sand, seashells, bits of flotsam and jetsam, pencil drawings, paintings and clay models. Rules of art are broken and given new dimensions and art is better for it. The theme of the exhibition extended when the community groups became involved. Pictures made of mosaic fill the gallery with sunlight; high class portraits welcome you; abstract work provokes thought; the talent and skill and imagination flows from the walls. As artist Guy Manning said at the opening, “this is an exhibition designed to make you smile and it does so brilliantly.”
The show runs until Saturday 31 January. I cannot urge you strongly enough to come and see it and get the January blues blown from your soul.
Tenby Museum and Art Gallery is proud to announce that it as made the longlist of the Daily Telegraph Family Friendly Museum of the Year Award. The longlist was announced in the Sunday Telegraph’s Life supplement on 22 June. The museum was one of 20 selected from an initial list of 800 nominees. Two other museums in Wales made the longlist – Bodelwyddan Castle and The Cardiff Story.
The museum, which adheres to the Kids in Museums manifesto, has many activities and events for children and families. these include hands-on interactive displays for archaeology (Grab a Hat and Explore!) and piracy; trails including pirate treasure hunts and the CBBC Relic Trail; jigsaws; drawing sheets; recreated stocks where children can have their photograph taken and dinosaur trails and dot-to-do quizzes for younger children. The museum also gets involved annually in the Big Draw and Kids in Museum’s Takeover Day. Last years Takeover Day involved three students curating a six-week art show in the museum gallery which was officially opened by artist Elizabeth Haines. New hands on displays are being placed in the upper galleries next week (July) where children and families can become a Tenby History Detective. The museum also offers free admission to all accompanied children. As Collections Manager Mark Lewis, who made the original nomination stated, “the museum actively encourages involvement, education, interaction and if course fun!”.
The shortlist for the award will be announced in July and we have our fingers crossed we will make it!
In the few works since this project started, the project team have found information on 60% of the list of 557 who volunteered for active service from the town prior to conscription in January 1916 and who are listed on the town’s Roll of Honour. Lots of interesting connections have already been uncovered where whole families of brothers and cousins joined up at the same time. We are finding lots of marriages that took place in the early years of the war and some poignant stories are emerging. Many researchers have trodden this ground before us and we are focusing our efforts on those who survived the war, returned home to Tenby and took up their lives again. Appeals have gone out to people locally for stories, memories, photographs, indeed anything that will give us an insight into the human stories behind these brave individuals. So many museums and institutions around the country are commemorating the 1914-18 war and we are adding their voices to these stories.
On Saturday 24 May Professor Tony Curtis officially opened the new art show at Tenby Museum. Two Painters, Two Ways of Seeing features work by Meidrim based artists Jean Francis and David Button. In his opening speech professor Curtis, who has written extensively on art, said, “This is the most impressive exhibition of paintings I have seen in any gallery for some time. The work truly is outstanding and reveals a remarkable relationship between the two painters. It is a triumph of an exhibition and the artists should be congratulated.”
The exhibition comprises eighteen large scale paintings that challenge the viewer. The gallery is filled with strong vibrant colours and the paintings reveal both a personal and mythical narrative. All of the works are available for purchase and the exhibition is on show until Sunday 6 July. It is well worth a visit.
The wonderful exhibition by father and son John and Charley Uzzell Edwards, Face to Face, ended last week. John had sadly passed away in March but had wanted the exhibition to go ahead and we were proud and honored to have been able to do this. John was a lovely man, always a pleasure to talk to about so many subjects, and surely one the most important Welsh artists of the 20th century and the museum was exceptionally lucky to have known him. It was also a pleasure to hang Charley’s work with his father’s. Charley, known as Pure Evil, is a London based artist with a well deserved and ever growing reputation.
The next show, Two Painters, Two Ways of Seeing/Dan Arlunydd, Dwy Ffordd O Weld features the work of David Button and Jean Francis. Both artists, now based in Meidrim, have been painting for a number of years and the show is a strong testament to their skills. The show is on until Sunday 6 July and I urge you all to come and see it.
Our following show, opening on 12 July, is The RI in Wales/Yr RI yng Nghymru and is an exhibition of the work by the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours – watch this space for more information on this show!