It has been amazing to see how art galleries have responded to the pandemic and we are excited to be involved in a virtual art trip to London curated by, an art group from Canada, Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts.
Founded in 1998, TFVA is an organization of 265 members, all women but one, who are interested in learning about art and financially supporting talented artists and leaders in the arts community. From lectures, film festivals and gallery walks, they offer many opportunities in a year to learn and keep abreast with the vibrant artistic community. Travel is an important and popular component of their programming and the pandemic isn’t stopping them.
This virtual art tour will include a look at Artemisia, The National Gallery’s first exhibition dedicated to a woman artist, as well as a virtual visit to the Dulwich Picture Gallery to see the 2017 first major solo retrospective exhibition devoted to the work by the British modernist painter, Vanessa Bell.
Inspired by Vanessa Bell, participants will be invited to explore our Charlotte Street Hotel in Fitzrovia, where the Bloomsbury set lived and worked. They will learn about our Bloomsbury art collection displayed in the hotel.
The virtual tour will be made even more interesting as members will be able to sip on their own ‘Hope Spring Cocktail’ usually served in the Oscar Bar, as well as enjoying a hamper with packaging inspired by my RIKRAK products.
The next day, participants can join my discussion with Firmdale Hotel’s art ambassador, Olivia Patterson, from the Ham Yard Hotel. You will find out what sparked my passion for art, how I have created our collection of original art and how to curate a visually interesting and exciting space by mixing colour and texture.
We will delve into the relationship between art and craft and explore my collaborations with artists and makers. You will get a feel for my eclectic and evolving art collection, curated in an approachable and inviting way. There is also a sneak peak of my latest project and the artist’s work I aspire to own one day!
Members will learn more about some of the key pieces in our art collection, including the majestic ‘Group’ sculpture in the centre of Ham Yard Hotel’s courtyard which we commissioned Tony Cragg RA to create, as well as the story behind the giant Botero cat which The Soho Hotel was constructed around!
Every hotel features the artists I have met along my journey, including Sandra Blow and Breon O’ Casey – his wonderful Aphrodite sculpture presides over the drawing room at The Soho Hotel.
This virtual tour is a rare opportunity to immerse yourself and be inspired by the London art world. The program is varied and fascinating, here are some of the other galleries involved:
National Portrait Gallery: Video Hold Still
Dulwich Picture Gallery: Live Talk and Tour, Vanessa Bell 1879 – 1961 with co-curators Sarah Milroy and Ian Dejardin.
Rebecca Hossack Gallery: Tour with Rebecca Hossack of recent works by Mersuka Dopazo.
The British Museum Print Room: The Pioneering Art of Mary Delany.
The National Gallery, video about the restoration of Artemisia Gentileschi: Self Portrait as St. Catherine of Alexandria and talk about the exhibition Artemisia with curator Letizia Treves.
Tate Modern: a screening of a documentary on Warhol.
The Victoria and Albert Museum, will be included with a screening of a documentary about the secrets of the museum.
CLICK HERE to find out more about Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts.