A fabulous evening of amazing art, fine wine and delicious sushi for over 150 Friendship Circle members and guests took place recently, benefitting from the invaluable help of art gallery owner Richard Goodall. Guest speaker and main sponsor was Frankie Cohen, one of the world’s most influential contemporary art collectors, often referred to as the ‘Saatchi of the north’ or, as he prefers, the ‘Medici of Manchester’.
The Hilton Suite in Prestwich was transformed into a professional gallery setting, giving members of all abilities the perfect opportunity to showcase their talent, and thanks to a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery that funded a weekly art therapy class with teacher Chava Erlanger, members were able to express themselves through art and learn new creative skills.
All the artwork, with pieces inspired by artists such as Picasso and Chagall, was on sale and raised over £1,000 towards the running of the art therapy classes. Speaking at the event, Frankie commented: “Every single piece of art is unique, and every piece should be celebrated and appreciated. Art speaks where words are unable to explain. It is an incredibly powerful medium for us all as it captures ideas not easily expressed with words and evokes feelings we may not even know we had.”
Mark Adlestone OBE DL, chair of Beaverbrooks and gold patron of The Friendship Circle enlightened guests about his role as High Sheriff of Greater Manchester and did not disappoint by dressing for the occasion in his magnificent official uniform.
Esty Bruck, The Friendship Circle’s programme director added: “The weekly art classes are a place of warmth and friendship where everyone who takes part has the opportunity to be creative and embrace their talent in a supportive and safe environment.”
The exhibition also featured work by Year 3 pupils from King David School, North Cheshire Jewish Primary School, Bury & Whitefield Jewish Primary School & Broughton Jewish Cassel Fox Primary School, who had benefited from The Friendship Circle’s Disability Education Programme. Its projects focused on the subject of friendship, disability and difference.
Jeff Garmen, who drives his daughter Isabel every week from St Annes to attend, spoke about the massive impact the art therapy class has had on his daughter. He went on to praise the art teacher for her “tremendous passion and patience towards each and every art club member”.