Throughout September Weston Park’s Granary Building has been providing three exhibitions showcasing talent both old and new. Regulars to the Granary Art Gallery, on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border, will be familiar with the monthly changing contemporary shows, but organisers said that this month has something for everyone.
The main gallery is filled with works from members of the Birmingham Watercolour Society, with a range of landscapes and still life works, and many of the pieces are on sale.
Sharing the space and on loan – but decidedly not for sale – are eight pre-eminent works of art, including a work by the world-renowned J.M.W. Turner and a series of portraits by some of art history’s greatest names. Two Elizabethan full length portraits by Marcus Gheeraerts neighbour two paintings by the famous Georgian artist Thomas Gainsborough.
Curator and head of learning Gareth Williams said: "We’re delighted to welcome these magnificent works of art to the Granary Art Gallery. Normally they are hidden away in private homes, but we’re fortunate in being lent them for three months in what amounts to a who’s who of the greatest British artists.
"They are fabulous works of fascinating subjects that we are delighted to be able to share with the public in our free-entry gallery."
On the ground floor of the Granary, in a newly-curated snug, Weston Park is also showing a highly personal exhibition of lockdown creativity in a show called Gallery of Discovery. The exhibition follows emergency funding that was given at the height of the coronavirus pandemic by Arts Council England to assist Weston Park.
"We’re thrilled by the public response to the exhibition," said Gareth, "It has really captured the imagination of visitors, supporters of Weston Park, volunteers and staff – all of whom are represented in the works submitted and which include creative writing, crafts, painting, drawing, digital and video art.
"It is a remarkable showcase of the positive creativity which can emerge from something so negative as a global pandemic and we feel very proud to be offering this showcase. Gallery of Discovery also includes the top five winning entries from the Shropshire Virtual Show which took place on Saturday, August 22, in support of five local charities.
"The competition was judged by Gareth and Jonathan Soden from the Soden Collection in Shrewsbury.
"Judging was so difficult," said Gareth Soden, "as there were so many high quality entries, many of which had a fascinating and at times heartbreaking story to tell. We’ve tried to share these stories and some of the emotions that have gone into the creative works in the comments by the makers that appear with each work."
The Weston Park Granary Art Gallery, home to Birmingham Watercolour Society and the loaned artworks throughout September, is open daily 11am to 4pm, with free entry.
The Granary Snug, housing Gallery of Discovery, including the works from the Shropshire Virtual Show, is open daily 9am to 5pm and is free to enter.
To learn more, visit weston-park.com.