Head of Chamber’s Creativity Industry Group, David Ummels, has been a driving force through Art for Guernsey in acquiring an original artwork by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. A trailblazing exhibition to allow islanders to engage and reconnect with this major part of our artistic heritage is to take place at Beau Sejour this autumn.
The Renoir Trail was enjoyed by thousands of islanders as they explored the artist’s favourite haunts and from 28th September to 4th October, Art for Guernsey will be building on that interest with a special display.
Renoir has a special significance for Guernsey as the artist spent just over a month on the island in 1883 and worked on 15 paintings during his stay, the majority depicting views of Moulin Huet. Last year Art for Guernsey celebrated his importance to our island by putting together the Renoir Walk. Planning permission was recently granted to make the Renoir Walk a permanent fixture in the Moulin Huet valley.
“Energised by the overwhelming enthusiasm from the community to the walk and Renoir’s legacy, the Art for Guernsey team has sought to further capitalise upon the artist’s importance to the island by syndicating a group of local art collectors to acquire one of his original paintings. Rochers de Guernesey avec personnages (plage à Guernesey) is widely considered to be one of the best pieces Renoir painted during his stay and is one of just five of the original “Guernsey-painted” pieces still in private hands; the other 10 sit in major museum collections, which include the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery in London and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris,” explained David.
The founder of Art for Guernsey said: “This acquisition places Art for Guernsey in a different bracket as, thanks to the generosity and support of a few discerning collectors who strongly believe in Art for Guernsey’s ethos, we join the ranks of these illustrious fellow collectors of Guernsey Renoirs. This in itself opens many doors for collaboration in terms of curating, research and cultural exchanges as we intend to actively capitalise on the artwork to engage and promote Guernsey positively. I am proud to live in a place where a group of people can so easily come together and resolve to do something for the common good, just because it is the right thing to do. This unique goodwill makes Guernsey a very special place.”
Since Rochers de Guernesey avec personnages (plage à Guernesey) has not been in Guernsey since 1883, the AFG team is excited about “bringing it home” and celebrating this important part of our artistic heritage with islanders. With this in mind, Art for Guernsey is putting together an innovative exhibition that will take place at Beau Sejour from 28th September to 6th October. As always, entry will be free of charge. The exhibition will create an opportunity for all Bailiwick schools to engage directly with the artwork and will kick-start an “Art for School” season that will allow students to respond to Renoir’s art through their curriculum.
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