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Gracefield’s ‘summer of art’

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By Donald Turvill
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Gracefield’s ‘summer of art’
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A SERIES of exhibitions now open at Gracefield Arts Centre are showcasing work from some of the region’s most talented artists.

The Dumfries gallery, which is free to visit, has two shows running throughout the summer.

Recently completed artwork by members of Dumfries and Galloway Fine Arts Society are currently hanging on the walls of Gracefield Gallery One. Here, the region’s largest members-based art group presents a wide selection of work, ranging from paintings to drawings and crafts to sculpture.

Due to Covid restrictions this year, the society’s annual showcase didn’t have a selection panel but was instead an open invitational. In total, 50 current members took up the offer submitting up to four works each – resulting in an exhibition of over 170 artworks, which are on display until Saturday, August 7.

Meanwhile, a retrospective exhibition of work by Thornhill artist, Freda Blackwood, kicked-off in Gallery Two last weekend.

Initially due to be staged last summer, ‘20/20 Re:VISION’ follows Freya’s creative output from her student degree show more than 50 years ago up to the present day.

Born and raised in Kilmarnock, she always aimed to become a costume designer, but studied stained glass at Glasgow School of Art in the early 1960s. Upon graduating, she became involved with theatre and TV costume working for the Edinburgh Lyceum, Perth Rep and the Palace Theatre Watford. Freya’s work has taken her across Europe to London, Hamburg Paris and the Netherlands.

In 1978, she returned to Dumfriesshire to take-up sheep farming and throughout the 80s and 90s, her creative work included wedding dresses and ball gowns made to commission. Alongside these, she produced watercolour paintings, printwork pieces, textiles and papier mache sculptures – which she exhibited in both private and public galleries.

This retrospective show is at Gracefield until September 4 and offers a chance to explore past work, generously loaned from private collection and her own archive, together with some new work created specially for the show.

Furthermore, spaces remain on the art centre’s summer club workshop for kids aged 5 to 12, running on Wednesday and Friday mornings, whilst there is still availability in selected art classes such as printmaking and life drawing for 14 to 17 year-old budding artists.

Gracefield is located at 28 Edinburgh Road, Dumfries – for more details about the exhibitions or classes details visit www.dgculture.co.uk.

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