Chair's Newsletter

Summer Newsletter,  lune 2O18

Dear Friends,

I am writing  this newsletter by chance on National Writing Day, as I have just read in the Timesl I have vowed to write a further  3 letters today, as its aim is to keep the art of handwritten letters alive, which I feel very strongly about. lt is also one of the hottest  days  of the year, so I am seated under the shade of our rose and vine clad pergola. What could be nicer?

Our AGM this year was fairly well attended.  We were treated to a fascinating  talk by Cherill  Sands entitled: Painshill Park, the Restoration Story. l think many of  us were inspired to revisit this lovely local place, having learnt so much more about the hard work involved in the project, and its history.

We are now well into our spring/summer series of visits. April saw a visit to London, unusually for this time of year, to see Charles l's art collection at the Royal Academy, always a popular venue. ln May there was a visit to Coughton Court, a Tudor mansion in Warwickshire, with a stunning gatehouse and a charming courtyard. June saw the visit to Audley End, in Essex, which was to have taken place last year, but was cancelled  due to filming. Audley End is an impressive Jacobean mansion with impressive grounds designed by Capability Brown.

ln July, once again unusually, we will go into London, for the Monet and Architecture exhibition at the National Gallery. Dorney Court, in Buckinghamshire, an early Tudor manor house which has been in the Palmer family since 1924, and the Jurors at Runnymede, an installation of 12 intricately worked bronze chairs that aims to examine the changing  and ongoing significance  and influences of Magna Carta, should make for a fascinating  August  trip. September sees a visit to Portsmouth and Southsea, to view the Mary Rose and the D-Day Museum.

This year your committee received no requests for funding from the GBC Heritage Team, not for want of our asking. So we decided to make a contribution to two, in our minds, worthy local charities, in each case of £5O0. The first of these is the Artventure Trust, which enables  adults with Iearning  difficulties to explore the visual arts, and the Guildford branch is based at St Peter's School in Merrow. They recently held an impressive exhibition at Cranleigh Arts Centre of pictures inspired by Newlands  Corner. The second is Challengers, based in Stoke Park, who provide exciting, challenging and inclusive leisure and art experiences for disabled children and young people, and whose premises you will remember, recently suffered a horrid fire.

ln the meantime, we have discovered a way in which we can possibly support GBC Heritage Services and the Borough Art Collection in the future. More about this if it comes to pass.

I have now received  the date for our ANNUAL SUMMER SOClAL AT GUILDFORD HOUSE. we will meet on Thursday 13th September, 5.30-7.30. Hopefully, if the weather is kind to us, we can be in the courtyard. There will be an interesting new exhibition to view, you will find details of this in the Heritage Team update below. You will need to rsvp to the invitation, of course.

Welcome to all our new members this year, we hope you will enjoy all our fascinating lectures and trips. Welcome also to our new Membership Secretary, Phyl Morris, who we are very pleased to have on our jolly committee. Thanks of course also to Beryl Davies, for our fine lectures, and to Barbara Logan, for our splendid trips.

Long may this glorious weather  continue - though  of course Wimbledon fast approaches! But whatever the weather,  I wish you all a very pleasant summer.

Pauline Surrey


Heritage Services News

As I write this news flash for you, we are busy installing our next exhibition at Guildford  House: The Discerning Eye Collection opens at the gallery on 14 July and runs until 23 September.

We are delighted to be presenting The Discerning Eye Collection for the first time at Guildford House. lt's a great selection of small works spanning painting, printmaking, photography and sculpture. There are 39 artists represented in the collection, all of whom are active in the UK today. It includes still life, portraits, landscapes and city scenes  -  and some gorgeous dogs! The scale of the works, each limited  to 50cm square, creates an intimacy which suits the fine but domestic interior of our lovely 17th century Guildford  House.

The Discerning Eye Collection was formed by the Discerning Eye charity. Established in the UK in 1990, the charity aims to encourage a wider understanding and appreciation of the visual  arts and to stimulate debate about the place and purpose of art in our society, and the contribution each one of us can make to its development. We do hope you will come along to enjoy the exhibition whilst it is on, and of course, it will be on show on the evening  of the Friends reception on 13 September.

We are also finalising the plans for Heritage Services  annual lnspired  by Alice Family Fun Day in Guildford Castle and Grounds. We do hope you will be able to join the fun on 5 August 11am - 4pm. Entry to the range of activities, readings by the Guildford Shakespeare Company; short Alice inspired theatrical  performances from the Senior Wych company and music in the grounds is free. Fingers crossed for sunshine.

For the autumn, we welcome the Guildford Art Society for their major autumn exhibition at Guildford House from 13 October to 3 November, and this will be followed by The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition exhibition.

On 21 July, we open Take a Closer Look at Guildford Museum - and exhibition, which explores the many aspects of the richly varied collections Heritage Services look after. So pop down to the museum to see a wide range of objects, including art, on display. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series  of short conversational sessions where we look together at highlighted  objects: Tuesday Tales will happen at 1pm in the museum throughout the show, which runs until 29 September. 

We do hope to see you at one or more of our events including The Friends Reception at Guildford House on 13 September.


Lynn  Szygenda

Exhibitions  and Audience Development Manager
Heritage  Services