Back in 1911, local brothers and artists John and Cuthbert Grundy put their hands in their wallets and made a substantial financial gift and a donation of over 30 paintings to establish the Grundy Art Gallery for the people of Blackpool. 2021 marks the 110th Anniversary of the gallery opening its doors and this milestone will be celebrated through a programme of special exhibitions and events.
During construction, Blackpool’s coat of arms, which is emblazoned with the word ‘Progress’, was embedded into the brickwork above Grundy Art Gallery’s front door. Guided by this motto, the gallery continues to honour its founding ethos by way of a year-round programme of high quality contemporary art exhibitions and events – and despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, 2021 will be no exception.
Looking back into the past and forward into the future, Grundy Art Gallery’s 110th anniversary activity will chart the important role that the gallery has played historically, while also demonstrating its commitment to remaining an integral part of Blackpool’s artistic life for many years to come.
Winter 2021 online programme
Grundy Art Gallery is pleased to announce details of its winter programme, which will take place digitally from 16 January – 27 February. It will include the Annual Schools show, the Annual Grundy Art Gallery Open exhibition and a Collection Spotlight exhibition focusing on portraiture. Grundy Art Gallery is also taking this opportunity to launch its 2021 anniversary logo, which will be used to highlight its activity throughout the year.
110th Anniversary Logo
Marrying the past and present, Grundy Art Gallery’s 110th anniversary logo takes its inspiration from an ink stamp that was historically used to identify items brought into Grundy’s permanent collection. It also echoes the design of Blackpool’s world famous sticks of rock. The logo will take on different colour schemes throughout the year to mark calendar dates of celebration and commemoration, such as LGBT+ History Month and the International Day of People with Disabilities.
For 2021, Grundy Art Gallery’s annual open submission exhibition goes online to celebrate the wealth of creative talent across Blackpool and the Fylde Coast. Aiming to make the exhibition as open as possible, this annual opportunity invites all residents aged 18 years and over from eligible postcodes to submit work for display. As a result of this year’s necessary changes to the format, applicants have been invited to submit images of their works which will then be hosted online on Grundy Art Gallery’s website.
Portraits at the Grundy
Grundy Art Gallery’s winter 2021 focus on portraiture has been inspired by some of the many changes that COVID-19 has brought to our daily lives. The mandated use of face masks has not only changed how we appear to others but also how we look to ourselves. Our increased use of digital communications means our image is being reflected back at us many times over by our multiple mirror-like screens, and more time spent at home has raised our awareness of the environments that we live in, the things we surround ourselves with and the role that they play in defining our identity.
Portraits (16 January – 27 February)
Over the next 5 weeks, images of selected portraits from the Grundy Art Gallery collection will be shared online, accompanied by information about the artists who created them and the subjects they feature. This activity will be supported by an additional programme of digital content such as artist talks and Q&As that will be created with contemporary artists whose works feature in the Grundy Art Gallery collection.
Annual Schools Exhibition:
By necessity, this year’s Schools Exhibition is taking on a new shape. Instead of inviting pupils into the building to be inspired by the art on display, participating school children have been invited to produce work remotely that will then be exhibited online.
Inspired by some of the principles of portrait painting and by works from Grundy Art Gallery’s collection, local school children have been invited to create their own self-portraits, incorporating items that reflect their identity and the things they are passionate about.
Stay up to date
While current COVID-19 restrictions mean that the building is closed to the public, the Grundy Art Gallery team are working hard behind the scenes developing and sharing content via the gallery’s new website and its social media platforms.
For further information, and to access the digital programme, visit www.thegrundy.org where you can also sign up to the gallery’s regular newsletter.
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