Last night was the opening ceremony for the first ever Salford Open Art Exhibition at Salford Art Gallery and the official opening of the exhibition, 'Salford Royal Academy Takeover'
These exhibitions are a landmark in our city, as for the first time several organisations have come together to create them. Salford Art Gallery has worked with the Lowry and Salford University to bring about these events. Other notable establishments involved, include the Royal Academy and other art galleries in the region, who have loaned paintings. A Manchester city centre gallery, Contemporary Six has also been involved in this unique event.
This has been a concerted effort and as the mayor, Paul Dennett said, in his opening speech, raising funds for this took a great deal of effort but after seeing the exhibitions, it has all been worthwhile.
On the night, the Open exhibition was full of visitors, as they viewed 159 artworks by artists linked to Salford. This exhibition featured a wide range of work, covering a diversity of subject matter. It was encouraging to see that art was flourishing in the city of Salford! There is something in the exhibition to suit everybody's taste; including two of my landscape oil paintings!
After the speeches and prize giving, there was a chance for everyone to view the work and enjoy the evening. On a personal note, it was nice to catch up with old friends and meet artists I had only seen on Facebook.
This exhibition will continue until November and now will be a feature on the Gallery's calendar every two years. It will give the chance for local artists to showcase their work in a prestigious venue. Exhibition opportunities in Salford have been lacking for quite some time now in Salford so let's hope that this exhibition draws lots of visitors and favourable comments to encourage the local council to fund more events like this. Salford Art Gallery have organised workshops and activities through out the summer to complement the exhibitions, which will add to the experience.
In the next gallery hangs the work from several notable Royal Academicians, which again is another impressive exhibition. I attended an excellent talk, given by Danny Morrell, earlier in the week and the stories behind these paintings are fascinating. The whole exhibition is well worth seeing.
Linked to the Salford Art Gallery's exhibitions is a smaller one at Ordsall Hall, situated at the Quays area of the city. Here the Academy paintings are from the gallery's own collection. Again, a nice place to visit over the holidays with several activities taking place, especially for those of you who have children or grandchildren.
So no excuses over the next few weeks, not to enjoy the diversity of artistic talent on show.
Salford people should be proud of their heritage and thank all these organisations for their hard work putting these exhibitions together.