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10 Art Galleries to visit in 2014

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Cornwall has been a natural home to inspiration, art and ideas since the early 19th century. So much so that, apart from London, you'll find nowhere in the whole country that's host to more working artists than Cornwall.

Gardens with art

Barbara Hepworth Museum – St Ives
Whether you’re a garden lover, art aficionado or simply a St Ives devotee you can’t fail to fall for the magic of the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. Perched on a hill just minutes from its Tate St Ives counterpart, it is laid out largely as it was by Barbara Hepworth herself offering a unique experience and remarkable insight into the work and outlook of one of Britain's most important twentieth century artists. Sculptures in bronze, stone and wood are on display in the Museum and Garden, along with paintings, drawings and archive material.

Port Eliot House and Garden – St Germans
Those with a penchant for all things arty will love Port Eliot House and Gardens nestled in south east Cornwall. Grade I listed and bursting with style, flair and creativity, the house is adorned with murals, masterpieces and installations by the likes of Sir John Soane and Robert Lenckiewicz, while the garden inspires with its rolling views and ornamental features. 2014 will also see a welcome return to the Port Eliot Festival which attracts an eclectic mix of celebrities, bookworms, art lovers and foodies, for what is pretty much a giant garden party.

Trelissick Garden - Truro
This National Trust garden perched at the head of the Fal Estuary boasts jaw-dropping views and a huge array of plant species. Having been inspired by its varied woodland planting, mixed borders with bright summer and autumn flowers, and exotic perennials, visitors can dip into Trelissick Gallery, a unique partnership between the National Trust and Cornwall Crafts Association. Contemporary paintings, prints and sculptures are showcased alongside crafts such as jewellery, ceramics, textiles, furniture, metal and glass works from leading makers. There are also mixed and solo exhibitions from established and newly emerging artists as well as an active programme of practical and demonstration workshops.

Great for kids

Falmouth Art Gallery – Falmouth
For some freebie family fun and to keep the toddlers tantrums at bay, head to Falmouth Art Gallery which welcomes children with open arms – so much so that it has been named as one of the UK’s top family friendly galleries by the Telegraph. Inquisitive young minds are sure to spot the play tables weighed down with crayons and piles of paper.

Penlee Gallery – Penzance
Built in 1865 as a gracious Victorian home, Penlee House is the only Cornish venue specialising in the Newlyn School and St Ives artists. Get to Penlee to see the famous painting ‘The Rain it Raineth Every Day’ by Norman Garstin then walk 5 minutes down the road and stand in exactly the same spot on Penzance’s promenade. Penlee House is set in an attractive park with a licensed café and children’s play area.

Contemporary art

Tate St Ives – St Ives - Open 16 May
Tate st Ives, part of the Tate Gallery in London, is a stunning building with a varying exhibition of local and national works, well worth a visit. The Gallery's inspirational building stands high above the magnificent surfing beach of Porthmeor and is walking distance from St Ives town. The gallery embraces the best of international modern and contemporary exhibitions, as well as special commissions and works from the Tate Collection. Allied to Tate St Ives is the Barbara Hepworth Museum.

The Exchange – Penzance
A huge gallery regularly used as a project space in which artists and curators test new ideas. The Exchange enables audiences to see work on a scale never before accessible in the region. The huge space retains the industrial feel of the original telephone exchange and features a large T-shaped gallery showing national and international contemporary art, plus work by some of the best local artists.

Newlyn Art Gallery – Newlyn
Newlyn has played an important role in supporting the development of 20th-century painting in Britain, and in acknowledgement of that history, the current programme seeks to reflect the ways in which contemporary artists, working in this country and internationally, use painting and drawing to express their ideas. In 2007 a second venue was developed, The Exchange in Penzance.

Glass art

Jo Downs Glass Gallery – Launceston
Jo is one of the worldʼs most prominent fused glass designers. Her advanced fusion techniques allow for the creation of stunning designs of great individuality. Based in North Cornwall, Joʼs art draws inspiration from the natural environment that surrounds her, which has inspired artists for centuries. Other Jo Down galleries can be found in Fowey, Padstow and St Ives.

Malcolm Sutcliffe Glass Gallery - Penryn
The Malcolm Sutcliffe Glass Gallery & Studio is situated in the center of the historic town of Penryn.  It is a unique gallery showcasing the distinctive blown glass of Malcolm Sutcliffe and opened in 2002. All the glassware is made on the premises in the hot glass studio behind the gallery. Alongside the glass on display visitors will see jewellery, prints, paintings and cards.  Glassblowing lessons are available and the studio has open days when the public are invited to watch the glassblowing in action.

 

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