Directors Blog: Happy New Year!
2014 is an exciting year for Watts Gallery Trust. We await with bated breath to hear the news from the Heritage Lottery Fund regarding the grant for saving the Watts Studios. If Trustees are successful, the support from HLF will unlock over £500,000 of other pledges. There still remains a gap of £330,000 to raise, and we will work with everyone to see if this can be reached so that work can start on site in the autumn and the Studios can be re-opened to the public in summer 2015.
There is also the excitement of opening two new exhibitions at Watts Gallery – John Ruskin: Photographer and Draughtsman and The Big Issues Exhibition. The Brice Curator at Watts Gallery, Nicholas Tromans, is finding his feet and has explored a new seam of Ruskin's works, which will throw a new light on this great giant of the 19th Century. The Big Issues Exhibition will show moving, talented and telling work by those for whom life has dealt a hard blow. Through art, the Big Issues participants express real feelings and find their way to hope.
2014 once again challenges the Watts Gallery Trust to find the resources to deliver Art for All, to mount exhibitions of national interest and to continue to provide a memorable visitor experience. As an independent charity, each year the Trustees face a mountain to climb on raising funds, applying for grants, requesting visitors to join the Friends and seeking to gain income through the Shop, Tea Shop and venue hire. Every form of support is hugely welcomed and the Trustees feel extremely grateful for the support of the volunteers, the local village and all those who give their time and or money to continue the great legacy left to us by G F and Mary Seton Watts.