On a recent trip to Chester we decided to check out the present art scene there.
Our first stop was at the old Chester library. This, at the moment, has been converted into a super gallery space featuring Pop Art Prints from The Victoria and Albert Museum. It featured work from Andy Warhol, Patrick Caulfield and Roy Lichtenstein and many more. A wide range of styles and subject matters and a good start to our expedition. Chatting to the staff it seemed a shame that this space would soon be used for another cafe or such like.
A hundred yards further down the road is the The Story-House, a new Library and Arts centre. It is a fantastic building, with a superb section for children, which encourages reading but I was disappointed as it does not offer an exhibition space, which seems very short sighted for a city like Chester.
Our next visit was to a private art gallery, known as the Chester Art Centre which is a small shop offering a wide range of services for artists. It is good to see a shop where you can frame paintings and have them photographed and prints done, all in one place. You can even hire their gallery rooms for an exhibition. On the plus side I also have one of my prints in their Summer exhibition at Commonhall St Social, where you can call in, view the display and have a drink or something to eat.
Our last visit was to Chester Cathedral to see the ARK exhibition of contemporary sculptures. As you enter, the stunning architectures meets you and you are met by Damien Hirst's Sheep in a glass case then as you wander around you are met with surprises around every corner. The setting is superb and compliments the many excellent sculptures. On show are many of the famous sculptures; you find a Barbara Hepworth or a modern sculpture with the backdrop of a biblical scene. Stained glass lighting enhances some of the work and you can't help but be impressed by the work and setting. Even the Cathedral's own sculptures in the gardens don't seem out of place.
Well worth a visit and you can even contribute to the Lego sculpture of the Cathedral. My brick is the one on the bottom right corner!