This Easter is packed with fun for families at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. The holiday begins on Sunday 4th April with First Sunday ‘Elegant Eggs’. The event, which is part of the Centre’s popular monthly First Sunday programme, will run from midday and include storytelling, live music and drop-in activities in the café and galleries. The second of the Sainsbury Centre’s Object of the Holiday series, offering free drop-in activities for families, runs from Tuesday 6th – Sunday 18th April (closed Mondays including Easter Bank Holiday Monday). Easter activities and admission to the gallery is free.
At the ‘Elegant Eggs’ First Sunday on Sunday 4th April children will be able to craft their own bejewelled egg and hunt for egg-laying creatures in the galleries on a special trail. There is even chance to win a chocolate egg! The Dave Pullin trio will be performing live in the Gallery Café and there will be free Sunday papers. If the sun is shining families can then head outside to play in the beautiful parkland which surrounds the Centre.
During the Easter school holiday there will also be Object of the Holiday activities each day. This holiday the highlighted object will be the raven rattle in the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection (activities and admission to the Sainsbury Centre is free).
“We are delighted to be continuing with our object of the holiday series which proved incredibly popular when we launched it at February half-term. The series brings our permanent collection to life for children and offers them a wonderful mix of learning and creative activities that are lots of fun. Gallery admission is free and so too are the activities. Come along and see what we have to offer! ” – Charlotte Peel, Education Officer (Families and Children).
Families will be able to spend the day at the Centre and enjoy a host of things on offer. These will include an activity table with artist-designed things to make and do (Tuesday to Sunday each week from 11am to 4pm), activity booklets and gallery trails. Children can also enjoy stories about the permanent collections narrated by Sainsbury Centre guides (Tuesday 6th to Friday 9th April at 11am). The activity booklet designed by artist Sarah Florence with support from the Centre’s guides includes fun facts about the raven rattle, drawing activities, trails and things to do when you get home.
The raven rattle is likely to have been collected on a voyage to the Northwest Coast of America. Rattles in the form of a bird were collected on voyages by explorers such Captain Cook in the late-eighteenth century and others in the nineteenth century. The most frequently depicted bird was the raven and these raven rattles were often described as ‘chief’s rattles’. Rattles were used to emphasise oratory and to create rhythm to accompany singing and dancing. The colourful raven rattle in the Sainsbury Centre’s collection is made of wood and leather with pebbles inside. The figure on the raven’s back is depicted with a bear-like face and claws. There is a ‘hawk’ mask on the raven’s breast. The rattle is larger and more sculpturally accomplished than many other examples.
Visitors to the Sainsbury Centre during the Easter holiday can also see the spring exhibitions. The Artist’s Studio explores the ways in which artists have represented their studios through a fascinating look at the workplaces of artists in Britain from the 1640s to the present day. The Anderson Collection of Art Nouveau is considered one of the most exquisite in the country. This stunning new display will tell the story of some of the key exponents of the art nouveau movement. The exhibitions run until Sunday 23rd May.
Opening times, bookings and information
Open Tuesday to Sunday (closed Mondays), 10am to 5pm and until 8pm on Wednesdays
Tel 01603 593199 www.scva.ac.uk
Admission to the gallery and permanent collections is free
Special exhibitions are charged – see below
First Sunday times and information
Midday – 4pm
Drop-in art activities in the gallery
1pm – 3pm
Live music in the gallery café
Storytelling in the gallery
Not pre-bookable, places on a first-come, first-served basis
Forthcoming First Sundays during the spring season
Sunday 2 May – Here Comes the Sun!
Exhibition dates, times and information
The Artist’s Studio and The Anderson Collection of Art Nouveau will run from Tuesday 9th February to Sunday 23rd May. The exhibition will be open Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays including Easter Bank Holiday Monday), 10am to 5pm and until 8pm on Wednesdays. Tel 01603 593199 www.scva.ac.uk.
Combined admission to the spring exhibitions £4, concessions £2
Family admission (up to 2 adults and 3 children) £8, concessions £6