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Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum reopens with 'exceptional' exhibition from local artist

  • Date: 1 October 2013
  • Area: South West
Still Life With Books. Cast optical glass and 24ct gold leaf 2013

Still Life With Books. Cast optical glass and 24ct gold leaf 2013.

Gloucestershire artist Colin Reid's stunning glass sculpture is showcased in the first exhibition to open at the newly rebuilt Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum from 5 October 2013 to 5 January 2014.

Casting Brilliance, an exhibition supported by Arts Council England through the National Lottery-funded Grants for the arts scheme, brings together a significant group of the artist's work that gives visitors the opportunity to see the progression of Colin's work from his early days to the present, seeing the development through experimentation that has brought international recognition for his cutting-edge kiln-cast glass.

For the first time, visitors will be able to see some of the processes Colin uses, including the moulds and castings, seeing how the glass is transformed from a block to a work of art.  A specially commissioned film created by filmmaker William Taylor will also take visitors inside Colin's studio.

This exhibition of work by a leading local artist is part of the celebratory programme that marks the re-opening of Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum after a major new build costing in the region of £6 million.

Four new floors will house a gallery dedicated to Art Gallery & Museum's extensive fine art collection, space to discover more about local heroes, a re-interpreted Arts and Crafts gallery housing the world-renowned designated collection and two temporary exhibition galleries showing national and international touring shows, special highlights from the collections and fun shows for families.

The Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen will also have a new retail outlet Guild at 51 selling beautiful contemporary crafts, again supported by Arts Council England's National Lottery-funded Grants for the arts scheme.

The Arts Council has also invested £70,000 from the Renaissance Designation Development Fund to help Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum highlight their internationally significant Arts and Crafts through an exclusive app linking into other key Arts and Crafts locations in the Cotswolds.  The app will be launched via the Apple App store to coincide with the re-opening.

Andrew Proctor, Relationship Manager, Visual Arts, South West, Arts Council England, says: "This is a really exciting time for the arts and crafts in the South West, with increasing recognition of the significant work housed and being created here. We are looking forward to the reopening of a transformed Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum and are particularly excited by the opportunities they now have to display more of their significant collection as well as presenting important touring exhibitions.  The many partners and individual donors who have supported the re-development have invested in a wonderful repository of past and future treasures to share with both the local community and visiting audiences."

Additional Information

The exhibition Casting Brilliance is organised by Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum in partnership with Adrian Sassoon, London. 

Adrian Sassoon is on of the leading galleries dealing in contemporary ceramics, glass, silver and jewellery and represents some of the most prestigious artists working today.

Colin Reid's work is represented in over 45 museum collections worldwide.  His reputation also invites significant commissions both public and private that challenge his practice through either scale or location.  For example Cipher Stone, 2003 (GCHQ, Cheltenham) is piece referring to location by referencing the work of the country's national intelligence and security centre.  It is a 2m high construction of glass and steel weighing over 500kg, one of the largest artworks to have been cast in optical glass in the UK.

To coincide with the exhibition Lund Humphies are publishing the first Colin Reid monograph Colin Reid Glass Sculpture with essays by Jennifer Hawkins Opie and Diane C Wright supplemented by many beautiful images of Colin's work.