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Friday, September 17, 2010

Space to learn, Stowe School

Today I was priviledged to attend the opening of the new Art School At Stowe. Designed by Rick Mather Associates who have also designed, among others, the new Ashmolean (Oxford), The Dulwich Picture Gallery (London), The Towner Gallery (Eastbourne). This is probably the most extra-ordinary art studio and gallery space to be found in any school.The original 1930s Bauhaus building has been rediscovered and revived creating an interior of articulated white spaces that open up dramatically revealing glimpses through the building and beyond. Students' work is displayed everywhere and in these differently articulated, blindingly white spaces, looks extraordinarily vibrant and exciting. The core of the building opens into a double storey gallery flooded with north light. The natural light is supplemented with state of the art gallery lighting with controlled ceiling light boxes such as that found in the other contemporary, world class, galleries developed by Rick Mather.

In the newly created open space facing the new building stands a major Lynn Chadwick bronze - looks stunning. The building features a new gallery that currently holds a wonderful exhibition of Lynn Chadwick sculptures, studies and photographs: made possible through the family connection with Stowe.

It is true that Stowe is not short of extra-ordinary, world class architecture for teaching in, but for an art teacher (me) this was a good day.

PS Throughout the day staff at Stowe were very keen to make the point that they valued opportunities to work with, and share practice, with other schools and teachers. It will be good to follow this up and I am grateful to Brian (Johnson) for his, invariably hospitable, welcome. In the meantime the Lynn Chadwick Exhibition is on until 11 December of Mondays to Saturdays from 2pm - 6pm by appointment only. Contact Kathy Campbell (Marketing Manager) 0n 01280 818355 or email to arrange a viewing.


Sophie said...

Thank Dan for writing about this new gallery within a school. What better place could there be for a gallery. I'm really looking forward to visiting the exhibition (by appointment) and to hearing about it's development and future developments.

Lau Sheow Tong said...

Good source of information on Art eduacation!