Collection goes on show

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Whether you are local or visiting the region, now is your chance to discover more about the artwork held in the Dumfries and Galloway Council collections thanks to an exhibition at the Gracefield Arts Centre titled Highlights.

Highlights offers a chance to view some of the best examples of work by Scottish artists dating from the 1850s to the present day.

The exhibition begins with works from the 19th century, including the Faed family of Gatehouse of Fleet and the “Glasgow Boys”, which included James Paterson of Moniaive, Arthur Melville, E A Hornel, E A Walton and William McGeorge. At the turn of the 20th century the Scottish Colourist painters came to prominence with exhibitions by Cadell, Peploe, Fergusson and Hunter, and the region is lucky to have a small selection of each of these artists’ work. Also featuring here is the work by the artists based in and around Kirkcudbright, with key works from Jessie M King and Charles Oppenheimer.

Representing the post-war period the exhibition, is the work of painters Anne Redpath, William Gillies and Joan Eardley. More modern artists, such as John Bellany CBE, Dame Elizabeth Blackadder and Barbara Rae RSA, continued the strong tradition of Scottish painting and some fascinating example of their work and their contemporaries can be seen on the ground floor of Gallery 1. Contemporary art is represented by both locally and nationally based artists such as Roddy Buchanan, Graeme Todd, Jenny Smith and Kate Downie, and give a flavour of why young Scottish artists are making such a big impact on the international art scene and regularly feature on the Turner Prize shortlist.

A full colour booklet featuring 101 of the key artists represented has been produced to accompany the exhibition (priced £3). John Gair, chairman of the Dumfriesshire Educational Trust, said: “We have a wonderful cultural asset for our region in the collections held by the DET and the council, and I welcome this new publication and exhibition which will hopefully make the art collection much more widely known.”

Gracefield presents a series of art talks, family workshops and adult art workshop as part of this exhibition throughout the summer (supported by the Dumfriesshire Educational Trust). The programme kicks off on on Saturday, May 19, with a free gallery talk at 2.30pm by Bill Hare on the post-war Scottish Art period – ideal for students or those just want to expand their knowledge of Scottish art.

To book, call 01387 2626084 or visit www.dumgal.gov.uk/gracefield to see all the details.

Entry to Gracefield Arts Centre is free and the gallery is open Tuesday to Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-noon and 2-5pm.