Exhibition Review: The Grundy Open 2024

This exhibition is Blackpool’s annual opportunity for local artists to get their work in front the town’s art-loving public. This year’s display does not disappoint.

After a pleasant coffee with friends at the HIVEArts jive meeting, I strolled over to the Grundy Art Gallery to catch this exhibition’s opening day. Others had had the same idea and the gallery was well populated.

At present there are three exhibitions to catch – the Open, the annual schools’ display, and a collection spotlight display, based around the work of former borough architect JC Robinson. The latter was particularly impressive with drawings and in construction photographs of what are still iconic Blackpool buildings, and some that have been lost.

As ever, the Open collection is eclectic and of a high standard. Here is a sample, there is much more to see, including a sculpture plinth and floor display.

From top left: John White – Blackpool Prom; Lesley Keeler – Rustic Venice; Barbara A. Yates – Volcano; Maureen Smith – Summer’s day by the lake; Andy Ham – 53.4881N-2.2437W; Zoe Waterer – Passing; Elizabeth Gomm – Boris, king of the lake; Amanda Aiton – Black British ballet.
From top left: Maria Bertolone – Graceful swan on Fairhaven Lake; Allison Colman – Forever young; Elizabeth Bullock – Mad hatter’s tea party; Olivia Bullock – Skelly; Keith Downey – no title; Colin Davies – Party in the park; Robin Ross – Colours in wood 2.
From top left: Susan Earnshaw – Sunset at Mary’s shell; William Walker – Leaving Carlisle; Robert Haworth – My house; Bex Peoples – Blooming beauty.
From top left: J. Paul Wright – Colour of her soul; Samantha Bragg – Harry Hill; Carla Sofia da Costa Neves – Journey; Michael Evans – Station rain.
From far left: Flintworks – The paradox of intermediate transaction; Jacquie Cross – Waiting and watching; Sarah Lowe – Sunset kiss; Robert Baines – Pharos lighthouse and tram reflections; Susan Pugh – Autumn’s treasures; Kathy Rowan – Goddess; Rachel Aspinall – Storms are brewing; Rosemary Fitt – Dancing in the snow.
From left: Anji Wright – Don’t worry; Wayne Taylor – Just tree; Michael Shepherd – Hanging garden 1; Jen Allen – In my bubble.
From left: Jen Allen – In my bubble; Kathryn Olley – Strike a pose; Marie Smeaton – Tawny owl; Dr. Peter Hughes – Roses.
From top left: Adam Hopkin – Seafront kickflip; Stuart Tarpey – The lion; Linda Noble – Maybe; Max Johnson – Ordo ab chao; Thomas Hopkin – Hay stacks; Stephen Crawford – untitled; Helen Kay – Winter light on birch; Jonathan Lowe – Coastal enigma; Dylan Cross – Goose guard. Also, Hex Gregson’s Morgana the cat.
From top left: Amy Roberts – Animus; Samantha Quarterman – Sea Turtle; Laura White – Portrait of dad; David Hargreaves – In a silent way (part 3-2) ethereal; Kate Yates – Just a fuchsia.
From left: Anna Ravliuc – Character; Patricia Payne – Caldeira de Pero Botelho; Chloe McFarlane – The handbag; Rachel Coultrup – Untitled; Grumpy Girl Graphics – Home by the sea; Justin Addy – Superman.
Display of photos, drawings and artefacts celebrating Blackpool’s former Borough Architect, J.C. Robinson. Sharing space: architect J.C. Robinson through a diverse lens.
Display of student decorated shirts fom the Squad Goals – annual schools’ exhibition.

With my appetite for art temporarily sated, I repaired to the Upside Down cafe for a fine repast, before catching the service 6 bus home. A very pleasant day.

The exhibitions continue until 30th March 2024. From 2nd March 2024, they will be joined by L.S. Lowry’s painting iconic Going to the Match. Not to be missed!




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    I have worked in the housing and transport professions for several local authorities, specialising in policy, strategy preparation and bid writing. Having always had an interest in film, the visual arts in general, theatre, music and lterature, I thought it would be good to combine the writing experience with these interests to contribute to altBlackpool. In addition to writing, my hobbies include watercolour and pastel painting, photography, woodwork, cycling and vegetable gardening.

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