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A Launch at Lichfield AUGUST 2016

Cathedral holds reception to celebrate new book

A new book on Lichfield Cathedral by Dr Jonathan Foyle was launched at a special reception at the Cathedral on Tuesday 19 July.  After an introduction from the Dean, Dr Foyle fascinated the audience with the tale of this beautiful Cathedral, emphasising its connections with all of the Churches of St Mary and its links in particular with Westminster Abbey and Lincoln Cathedral.  Dr Foyle also explained how, during his research into the book, he was able to shed new light on the origins of what we know today as the Tudor Rose.

Dr Foyle said: ‘Lichfield Cathedral is often considered to be a beautiful cathedral in a fine setting, but its significance has been underestimated. For much of its very long history it was one of the most important of our great churches, of particular interest to royalty. This book uncovers new evidence for its status. It shows how these ideas were expressed in symbolism, set in a narrative that explains the evolution of the magnificent building we see today.’

Dr Jonathan Foyle is an expert on medieval architecture, a passionate advocate for heritage sites and award-winning presenter. 

Lichfield Cathedral: A Journey of Discovery is available now for £25 at your local bookshop, or for the special price of £19.95 at the Lichfield Cathedral shop.

Cleveland: The Cleveland Museum of Art JULY 2016

The lively history of remarkable gardens

Today we received our first copies of the beautiful Gardens: The Cleveland Museum of Art. The museum is located on rolling green land donated by generous patrons: a snapshot of wholesome American heritage, stuffed to the brim with masterpieces, teeming with visitors and buzzing with energy. 

The gardens in which the museum is set are also remarkable. They glow with resplendent colour in spring and summer, catch fire in the autumn – leaves shimmering in gold and red – and in winter they are blanketed in white snow. Statues nestle among the plants: the signs of the Zodiac, a small boy delighting in the flowers around him; modern sculpture shoulder-to-shoulder with the traditional. It is both a celebration of nature and a living testament to the power of philanthropy. 

The garden was not always so lovely. In the 1920s it was just a neglected parcel of land with a small, murky lake owned by the City of Cleveland. The Garden Club of Cleveland took on the monumental job of turning this into a place that everyone could enjoy – and, as one can clearly see, their efforts were resoundingly successful. 

Mary Hoerner presents the history of the Fine Arts Garden and Jeffrey Stearn discusses the development of the museum’s grounds since the 1930s as well as the coming plans for the future. Lavish photography and informative essays tell the lively history of these wonderful grounds.  

Interview with Bo Bartlett JULY 2016

We have a chat with one of America's most exciting realist painters

1. Do you think the art scene has changed in the past few decades and, if so, in what way?
"The Art scene"  or "Art World" is and always has been a Hydra-headed monster. It is hard to classify in anything other than simplistic terms. When we use the terms we are usually referring to the art and artists associated with New York City museums, auctions and galleries. There are of course many other "scenes; every city and town has one in greater or lesser degrees. All scenes are forever evolving, some slower or faster than others. Art circles in small towns were once isolated and not as influenced or as influential as they might be now with the accessibility of all Art on the internet. The internet is a great equalizer. It allows for work to be seen that never would have been seen before. A lot of work can look great online but then be a letdown when seen in person. Some work is incredible in reality but doesn't translate well online. So it can give a false perception. But generally it allows artists and collectors to keep up with what's going on inside and outside the standard channels ie. the New York Art World. To be taken seriously an artist must still have New York gallery representation. Some things haven't changed. 

2. What has been the impact of the internet on art, and do you think it has made it easier for artists to be seen, or the opposite?
When I was coming along and fresh out of school, I had to schlep my work up to NY with a sheet of slides in-tow in order for a gallery to see my work. Obviously now everyone has the perfunctory website and Instagram feed and it is much easier to have ones work seen. But, the internet has had a profound impact on Art, not just how it is viewed but the content as well. Whether analog or digital, artists create work influenced by and specifically for viewing on social media platforms. Post-Internet Art is work that could only have been correlated after the advent of the internet. It affects style and content. There are many artists working in hybrid styles which are part digital, part actual painting  or part digital collage, part  hand cut or part photography and part digital manipulation. Anything goes.. and that's a good thing. As Duke Ellington said about music, "if it sounds good it is good", the same is true with Art, if it looks good, it is good. 

3. What artist do you most admire?
Almost impossible to answer, because I love all Art. Everything inspires me. Robert Henri said,"If you look at any work of Art long enough you will find some worth in it." But, if pressed to be more specific I'd answer Andrew Wyeth. Andy was my mentor, my Artistic Father, and his influence on me in continuous. He taught me "why" to paint. He painted exactly what he wanted to, unfazed by the critics, the reviews or what was popular at the time. This takes great courage; the courage to be oneself. It is a rare thing. 

4. What inspires you?
My Wife Betsy Eby inspires me. She is a fearless painter, a virtuoso... and equally gifted on the piano which she has studied and practiced every day diligently her whole life. She inspires me to be a better person. She shows me the rewards of great effort, what it means to be a human being and have aspiration and strive to better, to be ones best self. Everyday is a gift and how we use it effects the world around us. I know I'm lucky to be in her presence and everyday I am inspired and grateful.