Summer of Art & Craft at Gracefield, Dumfries

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A highlight of the summer calendar opens on Saturday 3 July, at Gracefield Gallery 1 with the Dumfries & Galloway Fine Art Society Annual Exhibition.

The region’s largest members-based art group presents a fascinating selection of work, from painting and drawing to craft and sculpture, there is always something to catch the eye and as most are available to buy. It’s the ideal exhibition to start or enhance your original art collection with prices to suit all pockets. This year, because of Covid restrictions, the show didn’t have a selection panel but was instead an open invitational. 50 current members took up the offer submitting up four works each resulting in an exhibition of over 170 artworks. For details of membership please visit the website at www.dumfriesandgallowayfineart.org.uk The show runs until Saturday 7th August.

Councillor Andy Ferguson, chair of the Council’s Communities committee, said: “The Fine Arts Society puts such a great effort into showcasing local talent – well done on another impressive display of talent in this year’s show.

Over in Gallery 2 beginning on the 10th July is a very special retrospective exhibition: 20/20 Re:VISION by Freda Blackwood was due to be staged last summer, but delayed due to lockdown.

The exhibition follows Thornhill artist Freda Blackwood’s creative output from her student degree show to the present day. Born and brought up in Kilmarnock she always aimed to become a costume designer, but studied Stained Glass at Glasgow School of Art in the early 1960s. On graduating she did in fact become involved with theatre and TV costume working for the Edinburgh Lyceum, Perth Rep and the Palace Theatre Watford. She worked in London, Hamburg Paris and the Netherlands before returning to Dumfriesshire in 1978 to take up sheep farming. In the 1980s and 90s her creative work included Wedding dresses, ball gowns made to commission alongside working in watercolour painting, printmaking, textiles, papier mache sculpture – exhibiting her work in both private and public galleries. This retrospective exhibition has offered a chance to gather past work, generously loaned from private collection and her own archive, together with some new work created specially for the show.

Councillor John Martin, vice chair, said: “Freda Blackwood is such an inspiring artist – it seems everything she turns her hand to is completed with such skill and imagination – many thanks to her for sharing her remarkable creative journey.”

Freda’s exhibition is open until Saturday 4th September Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm, admission free.

During the School Summer holiday:

There are still a few spaces left on the summer kids clubs workshop for age 5-12 on a Wednesday and Friday morning (£3 per child) – give us a call to check availability, and we are also offering art classes for 14-17 year olds as part of the Amazing Summer season – although classes are filling up, we still have space for printmaking and life drawing for those budding D&G artists – give us a ring or visit the website for details.
The Ice Bowl Team is currently running the café at Gracefield which is open our usual days Tuesday to Saturday,10am-2pm for toasties, soup, sandwiches, cakes and coffees and teas.
Gracefield is located at 28 Edinburgh Road, Dumfries – for more details see DGCulture.co.uk