Galleries - May 2016

Ever since a by-pass got rid of the busy main road that ran through the middle of the ridiculously picturesque Cotswold town of Broadway it has really blossomed. And it seems to be having a knock on effect on the artistic and creative aspects of the town’s life too with increasingly interesting galleries springing up and now a really lively looking and visually oriented Broadway Arts Festival , June 3 to19. It is an excellent idea because the town has a rich history in the arts ever since the 6th Earl Beauchamp invited the Guild of Craftsmen down to the north Cotswolds in the 1880s – William Morris had a studio in Broadway Tower in the 1880s, the Arts and Crafts architects did much to make its ancient Medieval houses suitable for modern living, and the great furniture designer Gordon Russell set up his workshops here in the 1930s. One of the early painters who visited and painted in Broadway was John Singer Sargent, his ‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’ was started in the garden of Farnham House in 1885, and this story is the subject for a keynote lecture at the Festival by Sargent’s great nephew, the art historian Richard Ormonde. There is also a really well backed open art competition – head of the selectors is painter Ken Howard – to be shown in Little Buckland Gallery. Writers and musicians have always flocked to Broadway as well of course, and the organising committee has come up with an equally good looking list of supporting concerts, talks and workshops. Broadway in June – what could be nicer! A nice sense of continuity in the news that, despite retiring, Laurie Maclaren, who has run the attractive and energetic Highgate Contemporary Art so successfully for the last 14years , has handed over the reins to two new young owners, artists Hannah Ivory Baker and Anna Kalin. They, in turn have every intention of following the artistic policy initiated by its redoubtable founder, the late Noel Oddy, some 57 years ago, namely the very best of contemporary figurative and semi-abstract painting. There will of course, be new artists coming in over time but all those who have always made this gallery such a pleasure to visit (and have built up such a loyal following of collectors) will be very much in place still. Meanwhile the main May show gives us a taste of the future with a group of artists selected by Hannah and Anna. More news of moving on comes from dealer and artist Barry Keene in Henley-on- Thames who is semi-retiring after 53 years in the art world no less, 45 of them running his own gallery. After shutting the gallery doors Barry is travelling, painting and “sorting myself out” before making his own art available on a new website, Barry Keene Fine Art. Iconic London glassmaker Peter Layton is lining up the celebrations – the 40th anniversary this year of London Glassblowing’s founding, followed by his 80th birthday and the publication of a new book in 2017. Marking the events are two shows – this month’s ‘Recollections’ whereby studio artists have developed new works inspired by past creations, and ‘Black to White and Back Again’ later in the year. Admired for creating supremely beautiful glass, Layton is also known for staunchly supporting the next generation of glass makers. Cheery news from Gay Hutson and Angela Wynn who have affirmed that their market leading 20/21 British Art Fair, pushed to the back foot by the RCA's realignment of gallery space this year, is to have a summer season spot next year, at the recently revamped Mall Galleries. Blank off early June 2017 in your diaries. A NTENNAE from left P atrick Lichfield Lichfield Studios Ltd ‘Mick and Bianca Jagger Wedding’, Lifford Hall, at Broadway Arts Festival Peter Layton ‘Canyon’, London Glassblowing Broadway speaking 10 GALLERIES MAY 2016 Changing guard Looking glass Back to the future