Edinburgh Art Festival To Get Underway With City Art Centre Opening
Following a fifteen month refurbishment, the City Art Centre will reopen to the public on Saturday 31 July with two major exhibitions featuring works by two acclaimed, but very different American photographers, Edward Weston and William Wegman. The opening of the city centre art gallery comes at the start of this year's Edinburgh Art Festival (29 July - 5 September).
City Art Gallery Refurb'
As part of its £1.2m refurbishment, visitor facilities have been brought together on the ground floor. This includes the City Art Centre's shop, which has been relocated from the first to the ground floor, making it more visible and accessible.
The reception area has also been transformed, with the inclusion of a new cloakroom and improved toilets.
The refurbishment's first phase saw the entire building's air conditioning and ventilation upgraded, improving atmospheric conditions for gallery-goers and for the artworks themselves.
The renovated City Art Centre will be formally opened at a reception for the summer exhibitions on Friday 30 July by Councillor Deidre Brock, the City of Edinburgh Council's Culture and Leisure Convenor.
"As a major exhibition venue and home to the city's nationally important art collection, we were determined to ensure the gallery was in top condition ready for a packed calendar of fabulous exhibitions from now on, and I'm confident visitors will agree that we've done just that," said Brock.
"Art lovers, photography fans and all those too who only rarely if ever visit art galleries are in for a real treat with the exhibitions we're putting on this summer. William Wegman and Edward Weston are both legendary names in the photography world and I'm sure their shows will generate extraordinary interest, while In Our Own Image will present engaging works from our own nationally recognised collection of Scottish art."
The City Art Centre's reopening comes just months after the gallery celebrated the receipt of a grant for £80,628 from Museums Galleries Scotland. This funding will allow the Council to devote a whole floor of the City Art Centre to the permanent display of artworks from its collection.
Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop commented: "Our museums and galleries provide pleasure and inspiration to visitors as well as a showcase for Scotland's great collections. It is fantastic that the Recognition Scheme funding I announced in March for the gallery has been put to such good use. As well as the opening exhibition on photography, art lovers can now enjoy more from the city's Scottish Art collection which will now have its own dedicated exhibition space."
Summer 2010 exhibitions
William Wegman (b. 1943) is best known for his series of photographic compositions involving dogs, primarily his own Weimaraners, in various costumes and poses. See earlier news story.
US photographer Edward Weston (1886-1958) pioneered creative photographry with his landscapes, nudes, portraits and whimsical parodies in the early to mid-20th century. The 'survey exhibition', which is heading from the US to Edinburgh for its only UK showing, will be the biggest display of the photographer's works ever to be seen in Britain. It will showcase 117 vintage prints from all phases of Weston's five-decade career.
Previously unpublished masterpieces are interspersed with well-known signature images in seven thematic sections: early work, Mexico, portraits, nudes, still life, early landscape and late landscape. A 30-minute video, Remembering Edward Weston, featuring interviews with family members will also accompay the show.
All works are from the collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg. This exhibition was organised by art2art Circulating Exhibitions.
The gallery will also display an exhibition of works from the City's own nationally recognised collection of Scottish art. "In Our Own Image" will feature work on the broad theme of the human form, including both conventional portraiture and more challenging portrayals of the clothed and naked human body, both historic and contemporary.
The Art Cart will be incorporated in the display as part of a children's activity space.
The City Art Centre summer exhibitions will be on show from 31 July to 24 October 2010. Joint admission to Edward Weston and William Wegman = Adult £8, Concession £5, Children £2.50, Family £15. In Our Own Image is free of charge.
The exhibitions will be complemented by events and activities for families, schools and adults, such as art and crafts workshops, talks and lectures. City Art Centre info