Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Leaving Levers

Our local comprehensive, Bournside School will be closed tomorrow, along with many others, but the strike action is not - as it might be - because the school is abandoning its visual arts specialism. As a result of that bit of educational vandalism, Jake Lever, Head of Community Arts at Bournside, is having to find another job: thankfully, he has done so, and will soon, along with his family, be on the move to Birmingham.

Over the eight years he has been in Cheltenham, Jake has built up thriving community links: there has been a myriad of amazing projects involving professional artists and enthusiastic participants. The Visual Arts Specialism has enormously enriched the experiences of Bournside students.

So, tonight's private view at the Parabola Arts Centre was also a time to say farewell to one of Cheltenham's most prominent artists, Jake's wife Gillian. Gillian's abstract paintings, inspired by music, form the stunning centrepiece to this year's main Cheltenham Music Festival exhibition. With weavers Sue Hiley Harris and Anna Glasbrook showing alongside, it's a vibrant display in excellent surroundings - probably Cheltenham's premier exhibition space of that size.

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