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Work by Norwich art tutors celebrated in two city exhibitions

09:10 05 November 2014

NUA exhibition of works by former tutors John Lessore and John Wonnacott(right) in the exhibition called About Life.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

NUA exhibition of works by former tutors John Lessore and John Wonnacott(right) in the exhibition called About Life. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Archant Norfolk.

The work of two Norwich art tutors is being celebrated in exhibitions at Norwich University of the Arts and Norwich Castle.

John Wonnacott and John Lessore taught at the city’s art school – now Norwich University of the Arts –between 1978 and 1986, and they were at the heart of the national debate about the importance of drawing from life in the teaching of art.

They developed the Norwich institution’s life rooms, where all students were trained in basic drawing from observation, and both Wonnacott and Lessore went on to build established careers as painters.

On Monday, they returned to Norwich for the opening of About Life, at NUA’s The Gallery, which presents a number of Wonnacott and Lessore’s paintings and drawings from life. The art show is linked to another exhibition – The Life Room and the City at Norwich Castle Art Gallery – which reunites works made by the two artists during their time at Norwich, which went on to be bought by Tate, the Arts Council Collection, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery and private collectors.

The exhibitions are taking place in NUA’s 170th anniversary year.

Professor John Last, vice-chancellor of NUA, said: “For 170 years this institution and its graduates have been at the heart of the city’s creative output and we are celebrating with a programme of events for students, academics, graduates, industry and the public.

“We welcome the chance for the university to build new links and relationships as it celebrates the past and embraces the future.”

About Life is at The Gallery at Norwich University of the Arts until January 10 2015. Admission is free. Visit www.nua.ac.uk

The Life Room and the City is at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery until January 4. Exhibition admission is included in castle ticket prices – £7.95 adults, £6.50 concessions, £5.20 under 18s. Visit www.museums.nofolk.gov.uk

Have you got an arts project on the go? Email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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