Last night Peter and I went along to the launch event of Blue Owl Art, a new artistic venture based at Grantham Tennis Club, Lincolnshire. Blue Owl Art is owned and run by Jette Rasmussen and Belinda Thomas, two very talented ladies whom I met at Grantham College where we all studied for our Foundation in Art & Design (that seems a long while ago ladies!). Whilst completing their Fine Art Degrees at the University of Lincoln, Jette and Belinda were asked what they were going to do with this ‘arty qualification’ and that’s when the seeds of Blue Owl Art were sown! Their aim was to have a gallery space where they could hold exhibitions, sell art and craft based work and run art events and workshops.
After months of hard work and determination, Blue Owl Art opened its doors for business last night with an exhibition supporting emerging artists Chris Bagnall and Kate Robotham. Like Jette and Belinda, Chris graduated from the University of Lincoln. Working in oils and charcoal on canvas, Chris is ‘concerned with the notion that a stranger is an abstract ideal’. Sketches of strangers form the basis for paintings that focus on the ‘form and presence rather than the identity’ of the figures portrayed. I found that the longer I stood in front of the paintings the more I was drawn into them – appreciating the juxtaposition of the fact the figures were represented as shapes, but to me, they seemed to be having a conversation – really thought-provoking!
Kate graduated from Loughborough University. Her interests lie ‘within the cross-over between nature, colour and painting, seeking to express the beauty of nature through the medium of paint’. Taking her inspiration from the landscapes around her, she produces semi-abstract paintings using vibrant colours to portray the abundance and profusion of nature – to such great effect that you feel like diving right in, taking a deep breath and inhaling all the wonderful perfumes the paintings capture!
Alongside the art exhibition, Blue Owl Art also sell craft based items including jewellery by Sheila Kerr, Gill Pottle and Rachel Jones, (got my eye on some beautiful ear-rings), porcelain ware by Perin Towlson and Katharina Klug, hand printed items by Andrew Berwick, wonderfully quirky objects by Helen Russell and items such as lamps made from re-cycled objects as well as hand-made greetings cards by Carrie-Ann Coupe to name but one of the talented designers . If I’ve missed anyone off the list I apologise – you really need to visit Blue Owl Art to see the whole range!!!
The opening night of Blue Owl Art was a great success; lots of people attended the event and equally as exciting – sales were made!!
This first exhibition runs until the 5th September 2014. Jette and Belinda are planning a programme of exhibitions, events and workshops in the future; see their website www.blueowlart.co.uk for more information – or follow them on Twitter – @BlueOwlArt or Facebook – BlueOwlatGTC – well worth a look!
Well ladies, you’ve done it! Huge congratulations and every success in the future – Blue Owl Art has certainly put Grantham on the artistic map!