Leeds Art Gallery Welcomes You

We like Leeds Art Gallery. Not only is it free and warm, but there are often great exhibitions like the Fiona Rae one we covered in 2012. Jude Woods has the fabulous job title of Assistant Community Curator at the Gallery and was first mentioned on the blog in connection with the brilliant Black History Month event ‘Five’ in November, where a panel of 4 artists walked us around the gallery and talked about artworks from the perspective of ‘Empire’.

Five Black History Month

Now Jude has written us about her work at the Gallery, and some great opportunities to get down there and get involved. Jude says:

“It’s my job to encourage more people to come to the gallery especially people who haven’t been before. I also help people to enjoy the artworks by making our activities more accessible. I offer gallery tours to community groups and activities for children and adults. I work both at the gallery and out in the community. As well as one off events I also offer some regular groups which people can get involved in, at the moment they are:”

• Artful: easy arts activities for families in the gallery, every third Saturday of the month – Drop in between 1 and 3 or come to the whole session.

• Artful @ Marlborough Street (in the community hall): easy arts activities for anyone (adults and children) who lives around Marlborough Street (LS1), last Saturday of the month. Drop in between 1 and 4 or come to the whole session.

• Queer Eye Group: for anyone who is interested in Queer Culture, we explore the artworks in the gallery with a ‘queer eye’ using discussion, drama and arts activities. Tuesdays 4.30 – 6.30 and Thursdays 11 – 2, we meet most weeks but get in touch to find out when the next sessions are on.
• LGBT*IQ Social History Project: This new project is about collecting historical objects and telling the stories of our local gay communities, get in touch of you want to get involved. (LGBT*IQ: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Intersex, Queer/Questioning)

• The Warm Welcome Project: (starts March 2015) every Friday morning (10.30 – 12) in the gallery we will have interesting conversations about the artworks, drop in or stay for the whole session. Find out more about the artworks, join in a discussion about art and life using easy words so everyone can join in.

• Working in partnership with People in Action we offer 2 regular arts sessions for adults who have a learning disability: Saturdays 11 – 1 and starting in 2015 another during the week. Contact People in Action (info@peopleinaction.org.uk 0113 2470411) to join the groups.

• Multi-sensory tours for people who have visual impairment: available from March 2015, for both individuals and groups, get in touch to find out more.

Any questions? Get in touch to find out more:
Jude Woods, Leeds Art Gallery, 0113 2477021, jude.woods@leeds.gov.uk

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Five: A Black History Month Event at Leeds Art Gallery

Jude Woods is Assistant Community Curator at Leeds Art Gallery and I heard her speak at a recent meeting of the local arts group Scattered Leaves, where she talked about her work encouraging people who don’t usually go to art galleries to come in and see what there is on display. I didn’t need persuading since I’ve always thought free access to art is a brilliant thing to have in any city. Jude promised to write us a piece about her work for this blog in the near future, but in the meantime sent details of what looks to be a very interesting event coming up, combining art and social history, on December 1st.

One of the speakers, Carol Sorhaindo, worked for Leeds Mind’s community art project, and has run stalls selling her fabulous art work at Inkwell Summer events, so her perspective on ‘art from a post colonial perspective’ will be particularly interesting.

Five Black History Month

….we’ve fired a robot to Mars. Next up, living on the moon?

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…you’ll love it.

‘Maybe you can live on the moon in the next century’ – Fiona Rae

Taking a quiet hour or two for yourself and visiting an art gallery, or maybe a local museum exhibition here in Leeds, is something I recommend, if like me, you sometimes struggle with those niggly blues. Looking at other peoples’ ideas – for me – really takes me out of myself.

Big canvases, bold paint strokes, bright, confident colours, and an amazing range of different brush spatters and strokes all clamour for your attention when you stand in front of one of Fiona Rae’s paintings. It’s like stepping into someone else’s head for a while.

Fiona Rae’s head looks like a busy, dynamic and most important of all, a FUN place to visit!

It’s busy stuff alright. Bright. Dark. Colourful. Quirky. Odd fluffy pandas floating about amongst digital shoot outs and video games and flowers. Dramatic colour clashes but also little corners of quiet delicate beauty, as well.

What I like is how absorbing each different picture is. I find myself standing in front of each one for ages, getting lost in all the detail.

Picture titles like ‘As I run and run, happiness comes closer’, ‘Side by side, I’ll be yours forever’ and ‘My favourite puppy’s life’ just make you all the more intrigued as to what the stories are here. I like that. ‘What on earth is she thinking here?!…’

And the great thing? there is no right or wrong answer to that. Fiona says as much in an interesting video which you can watch about her and her work. The Art Gallery are playing this video for you to help you find out more in the corridor alongside the quiet exhibition space.

We all have our stories inside of us, and we all have special moments of dark and light that make us the special people we are. This exhibition reminds you of that.

Art galleries are undemanding, restful places, where you can wander about at your leisure, and just see whatever it is that takes your fancy. Leeds Art gallery is great for this. The staff are friendly and helpful if you have a question about stuff. And it’s FREE! And if you get bored of being stimulated by all the art in there, you can always go grab a lovely cup of tea and a cake in the Tiled Hall tea room next door. Nice scones. ; )

a small pleasure. and it’s the small pleasures you give to yourself that can make all the difference.

The beautiful Fiona Rae painting exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery this summer, runs ’til 26th Aug. Be quick though, because it ends soon! Take yourself to another place and go visit: it’s well worth a look. ~ Stuart Petch

Link: Leeds Art Gallery