It is with great regret that we inform you of the death of one of our Founders, Mr Bob Freeman. He was a very active and hard working Chair until a few months ago and he will be greatly missed by ourselves and throughout the Arts Community in Cheltenham.
The Gardens Gallery reopened on 6 February 2013 with its new, more visually attractive, front facade with 6 double glazed panels replacing the previous two single glazed ones. This completed the changes made as part of the Energy Reduction Project – see previous News Item. The Gallery is hoping the changes will reduce its electricity consumption by 50%/year.
The Gallery is grateful for the generous grants of £2.5K from the Summerfield Charitable Trust, £3.3K from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust paid out of Landfill Tax contributions donated by Cory Environmental and £3K from the Cheltenham Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Improvement Fund.
On 3 January 2013 work started on the Gallery’s Energy Reduction Project.
The Gallery has been spending approximately 35% of its income on electricity each year. The project involves substituting the expensive electrical underfloor heating system with a more efficient Air to Air Heat Pump System. In addition rubber seals are being inserted on the 10 front foldable doors in order to reduce the draughts. Futhermore, in order to make the frontage more attractive the number of glazed panels on the front doors is being increased from 2 single glazed ones to 6 double glazed panels. It is anticipated that this will make the Gallery entrance more inviting and preclude the need to leave the doors open in all weathers to attract visitors inside, thereby reducing the heat loss. The front doors will also be re-painted.
The re-developments are being project managed by Bob Gower (the Garden Gallery’s Director of Special Projects). The Gallery is grateful for the generous grants of £2.5K from the Summerfield Charitable Trust and £3.3K from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust paid out of Landfill Tax contributions donated by Cory Environmental.
The 10 front doors have been removed
The Gallery will re-open for business on 6 February 2013
In June 2012 the supporters of the Gallery were invited to celebrate its 5th Anniversary.
The Gardens Gallery Chairman Bob Freeman thanked those present for their help in making the gallery such a success with approximately 40 exhibitions each year involving between 150 – 200 artists/year and with 25,000 adult visitors/year and 3,500 school aged children/year attending the exhibitions.
Amongst the invited guests were Mayor Colin Hay and Martin Horwood MP who commented on the valuable contribution the gallery was making towards the Cheltenham cultural scene. Also present were International artist PJ Crook who officially opened the gallery in 2007 together with the Mayor at the time Councillor John Rawson.
The above photographs are by kind courtesy of Martin Davis (www.freerangephotography.co.uk)
To mark the 5th Anniversary the walls in one of the towers displayed 36 paintings by 30 of the many hundreds of artists who have exhibited at the gallery during the last 5 years.
Since its creation in 2007, The Gardens Gallery has served the useful educational role of providing work experience opportunities for students from the University of Gloucestershire as part of their professional development. Two examples of University Placements at the Gallery leading to exhibitions during February 2012 are described below.
CATALYST EXHIBITION : 22 – 28 FEBRUARY 2012
The following statement has been provided by Mike Duckering.
The photographs below are by Katherine O’Donnell, a second year student studying Editorial and Advertising Photography at The University of Gloucestershire , and a member of the ‘Snapper’ voluntary photographers agency.
“The Catalyst Exhibition of New Art, was organised by Mike Duckering, a second year student on the University of Gloucestershire Fine Art Degree course based at the Cheltenham Hardwick Campus, together with three other second year students, Ali Brazil, Rosie Roberts and Mia Dunning. Arranging the exhibition fulfilled the placement requirement of the University’s Professional Practice Module.
Living locally, Mike is familiar with the Gardens Gallery, and frequently visits the many art exhibitions held there by local artists and art groups. Students often have to find empty shops and other temporary spaces in which to hold their exhibitions; and apart from the work that is needed to make these spaces usable, they are generally located in areas unfamiliar to the public, making it difficult to attract visitors.
Since opening as an art venue, the Gardens Gallery has become well known in Cheltenham, attracting a regular clientele keen to see the latest exhibition. Its location in Montpellier Gardens also attracts the casual visitor, especially when the sun is shining.
For students such as our Catalyst group, who have had no previous experience of exhibiting their work, let alone arranging a complete exhibition, the venue proved to be an ideal testing ground. The exhibition space was neither too large nor too small, and its moveable partitions, and inbuilt hanging and lighting systems allowed excellent flexibility in the layout. Having the fundamentals in place enabled us to concentrate our efforts on framing and mounting our work, making posters, leaflets, flyers and business cards as well as writing our artist’s statements, making labels and deciding prices.
We decided to hold a private view on the first night, which despite our nerves proved very successful, attracting around 60 guests of friends, family, professional colleagues, other art students, and also our University Tutors. The unseasonal February sunshine was an unexpected bonus, and over the weekend almost 200 visitors were recorded on the Gallery clickometer. Altogether we received 376 visitors, sold two paintings and a number of postcards. We had interesting conversations with all sorts of different visitors, and received at least two offers to exhibit our work in other galleries. To quote the artists:-
Mike Duckering “The whole experience has been hugely beneficial for us all”
Rosie Roberts “It was amazing to exhibit my work for the very first time”
Ali Brazil “The space was perfect to show my paper works”
Mia Dunning “Very rewarding to see your own work on display”
Our thanks go to Chairman, Bob Freeman and his colleagues at the Gardens Gallery for their support and advice that helped to make Catalyst an unqualified success.
ART IN AID OF AIDS EXHIBITION : 4 & 5 FEBRUARY 2012
In December 2011 a first year student on an Events Management degree course started a 90 hour work experience period assisting in the arrangement of a 2 day exhibition to raise funds for the Emthonjeni Trust. The Trust is a local charity which supports aids sufferers in the Eastern Cape of Africa.
The placement was with one of the Gallery’s Directors, Bob Gower, who is a member of the Trust. The role included contacting local artists to persuade them to contribute artwork for the exhibition, organising the exhibition, publicity and the private view. The event was held on 4 & 5 February 2012 and resulted in sales of £2750.
One of the contributors to the Art in Aid of Aids Exhibition, Photographer Mansong Dambell, together with the Mayor Councillor Barbara Driver