Pop-up exhibition coming to new arts and entertainment venue
PUBLISHED: 10:09 11 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:18 14 September 2020
A pop-up art exhibition is going to be held this weekend at a historic former school in Hadleigh to reveal future plans as a ‘cultural hub’.
The Old School Hadleigh in Bridge Street was granted permission in July to be used as a leisure venue and concert hall after co-owner and venue director Ian Grutchfield applied for a change of use.
Mr Grutchfiled returned to his home town of Hadleigh in 2015 following a successful career in TV and is hosting the venue’s inaugural event on Saturday, September 12, to mark National Heritage Open Day and exhibit the work of local artist Christine Coe.
Ms Coe lives in Chattisham and has recently created a series of artworks featuring refugees and civilians impacted by the ravages of civil war in Syria – she is also inspired by the Suffolk countryside and the intricacy of nature.
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“It is a dream come true and a great privilege to become the latest custodian of the Old School and to have the opportunity to revive the legacy of Thomas McIntosh, as well as creating a cultural hub to appeal to a contemporary audience,” Mr Grutchfield said.
“We are naturally keen to actively involve the local community in developing our vision for the future of this building.
“Our plans are ambitious, but in this different world, we will naturally adhere to all official safety guidelines.”
The Old School was purchased in 1976 by Thomas McIntosh, an international concert pianist, who went on to found the East Anglian Summer Music Festival in 1978 and Opera Anglia in 1989 – attracting audiences to Hadleigh from far and wide.
The event on Saturday, between 10am and 4pm, is planned not only to showcase Ms Coe’s work, but also to reveal plans to develop the venue as a ‘cultural hub’ and seek suggestions from the local community about events they would like to attend and participate in.
A number of events have now been planned for the new year including music concerts, art exhibitions, fashion styling and cabaret nights.
The first scheduled event is due to be held on January 2 with a Poetry Slam featuring the contemporary poet John McCullough – winner of the 2020 Hawthornden prize for literature for Reckless Paper Birds.
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