Is Merton a hub for the visual arts? The leading Mayfair art gallery Clarendon Fine Art clearly believes so, and is launching its latest satellite branch in Wimbledon Village tonight with a party for 200 invited guests.
Meanwhile, a mile down the road, more than 150 contemporary artists – some of them recent graduates, some with international reputations – are hard at it this week making new work to show at Wimbledon Art Fair.
From Henrietta Stuart, who paints abstract landscapes with her labradoodle Bella curled at her feet, to Jacqui Kelly, whose intricate sugar sculptures have graced the shop window of Faberge, the artists who share Wimbledon Art Studios in Riverside Road are putting in long hours for the four day open studios event which starts on November 16.
Living in the borough, perhaps we take for granted the presence of Wimbledon College of Art and Wimbledon Art Studios, the annual Merton Arts Festival and Wimbledon Art Fair twice a year.
But as Merton Council’s bid team drafts the application for Merton to be London’s first ever Borough of Culture in 2019, now is an excellent time to demonstrate that we in Merton really are engaged with the art and artists in our midst; and to visit the beautiful new gallery that has opened on our doorstep and to go online to plan a visit to the amazing diversity and creativity on display at Wimbledon Art Fair.
Here are a few other things not to miss this weekend:
Sunday 5 November: It’s Bonfire Night this Sunday, and you can read the pick of London’s fireworks parties in my blog here.
Saturday & Sunday 4-5 November: Love Wimbledon’s monthly Market on the Piazza
Saturday 4 November: Bangla Music Festival, Merton Arts Space 6.30-9.30pm
Saturday 4 November: Collabro at New Wimbledon Theatre 7.30pm
Sunday 5 November: Glenn Miller Orchestra at New Wimbledon Theatre 3-5pm
Rules for Living, a comedy about a Christmas dinner that descends into anarchy, opens at the Rose Theatre Kingston on Tuesday for a two week run. Production team has seriously debated offering plastic ponchos to people in the front three rows because the food flies. Bring a waterproof if you’re planning to sit in the pit. Read my preview here:
Cilla the Musical opens at New Wimbledon Theatre for a one week run. More details and booking here.