David Dimbleby hosts party for art-lovers

Maddy and Diane Lloyd with David Dimbleby
Maddy and Diane Lloyd with David Dimbleby

MORE than 400 art-lovers attended a party at the Towner hosted by broadcaster David Dimbleby.

The party, organised to launch the Towner’s new membership card, also boasted a gin performance by artist Peter Liversidge, who designed the card. As soon as the gallery doors opened, scores of visitors queued up desperate to get their hands on one of the 137 glasses that were hand engraved by Peter and given away free with a Hendricks gin and tonic – served up by the Towner’s artistic director Matthew Rowe.

The performance lasted the duration of the gin; once the bottles and glasses were empty, the performance was over and visitors then enjoyed tours of current Collection Gallery exhibition The Art of Giving.

Towner supporter David Dimbleby hosted the launch event on Friday, continuing his long-running association with the gallery after officially opening the new state of the art building in 2009 – and in his speech he urged everyone to sign up as a Towner member.

Councillor Neil Stanley said, “Friday evening was absolutely fantastic at Towner and it was brilliant to welcome so many supporters of the gallery for this very special event.

“Peter’s gin performance went down a treat and it was a great opportunity to celebrate the ongoing philanthropy associated with Towner. The new membership cards are a brilliant way for gallery fans to get their very own limited edition artwork and we hope to see many new members sign up after Friday’s event.”

Maddy and Diane Lloyd travelled from Battle for the event on Friday and Maddy, who will be taking a Foundation place at St Martin’s in London next year, took out a student membership. Mum Diane said, “We were talking on Friday about the importance of strong regional galleries. Galleries like Towner have played a crucial part in Maddy’s early exposure to art. “