The South Hams may not be at the top of a serious art collectors list of where to buy but they need to look again. The huge diversity of artistic talent in this region is staggering and I feel extremely proud to be part of such a vibrant art community. I have no doubt that our glorious surroundings are behind much of the inspiration and creativity but one thing is for certain, there is great art, right here.
We are home to local and nationally known artists working in many mediums and whose repertoire extends far beyond the stereotypical seaside memento!
Summer exhibitions boasting fresh contemporary art have opened their doors. Salcombe Art Club based at the Loft Studio is definitely worth a visit and Harbour House at Kingsbridge have a fabulous rolling programme of events. The New Gallery Project at Avon Mill have opened a pop up exhibition in Noss Mayo and is full of coastal themed art and gifts. (Open fri-sun 11-5).
This year the Salcombe Contemporary Art Fair makes its début during Regatta Week on the 4th & 5th of August. Featuring 20 top Devon artists, it really is one to get to.
As for our art galleries, the Brownston Gallery in Modbury has a stunning range of contemporary art and their current collection by the late Anthony Amos is spectacular. Mayne Gallery at Kingsbridge have an eclectic range of art by local and national artists and hold very popular evening events. White Space at Totnes is also one to visit plus the huge selection of galleries along the streets of Dartmouth.
Those looking for cool art with an industrial urban theme should call in and see Jonathan Woolfenden's studio gallery in Island Street in Salcombe. He works in the gallery producing his work in oils.
Later in the year sees the South Hams Art Forum, an art trail running throughout the region, often held at artists homes. See shaf.org.uk for further details.
So if you see the sign 'Art Exhibition', stop and enter! I can guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised and you might even see a piece of textile art by me!
Jackie Gale (Textile Artist)