We have recently spent two lovely Saturday afternoons visiting Salford Museum and Art Gallery.
Our reason for visiting was the recent opening of the 'Heart & Sold' Art exhibition. This unique and special art collection was previewed in London and has travelled to New York before landing in Salford for its longest opening yet. The exhibition is a platform for over 30 artists - who all have Downs Syndrome - to showcase their photographs, pictures, paintings, creativity and talent.
The art work exhibited has received critical acclaim with one of the artists original works gifted to The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of Prince George and hangs in his nursery. Arnold Schwarznegger also owns artwork by one of the artists.
The exhibition itself is wonderful. A real diverse collection of different mediums and expressions of creativity. Paintings, collages, line drawings, photographs, watercolours. Pretty much anything you can think of. The gallery space has a lovely welcoming atmosphere and although there were a lot of people there because they have a connection with the Down's Syndrome community, there were also those who had just stumbled upon the exhibition too. Everyone there was appreciating the art work for what it was - Art. The fact that the artists have Down's Syndrome is important, but it doesn't define the exhibition. I would say it definitely enhances the experience though, especially for visitors who don't know what the exhibition is about before they walk through the gallery.
The afternoons we went along, we were also able to enjoy helping to create elements for a brick wall, which is an evolving part of the exhibit that will be added to for the duration of the exhibition at Salford. We were helped by the lovely ladies from Venture Arts to make some clay flowers and some moss and also some of the clay bricks for the wall too. Good, messy fun and Ella really enjoyed getting involved too. Lucy managed to sleep through the hands on sessions at both of our visits but did wake up in time for a trip to the cafe on both occasions!
(Photo Credit to Suzie Moffat, Heart & Sold Director for the above photographs)
The Museum is also worth a visit - there's a Victorian street to explore, with the option of dressing up too. Ella and Lucy both looked very fetching as Victorian street urchins!...