Mario Finlayson National Art Gallery by Gibraltar Rock Tours
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#Art Gallery#John Mackintosh Square#City Hall Gibraltar#Love Art#Painting#Mario Finlayson Gibraltar Artist#Bacarisas Gibraltar Artist#Mifsud Gibraltar Artist#Azagury Gibraltar Artist#Mannia Gibraltar Artist
Since 1954 members of the Calpe Artists Society had dreamt of setting up a Gibraltar National Art Gallery to exhibit and celebrate the work of highly talented local artists.
A location was sought for the Gallery, and it was decided that there would be no better place for it than the City Hall, a beautiful, grand and historical building in the centre of the Town. On the 2nd June 2015, that dream finally came true.
Gibraltarian artist Mario Finlayson BEM was, during a very long time, a lead and a strong campaigner for a National Art Gallery in Gibraltar to become a reality.
In January 2015, an art exhibition dedicated to the artistic life and works of Mario Finlayson was held and at the inauguration, the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, The Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, announced that the Gallery would be opening shortly and would be named “The Mario Finlayson National Art Gallery”.
The Gallery opened as announced, with exhibition rooms dedicated to Gibraltarian artists; Gustavo Bacarisas, Jacobo Azagury, Leni Mifsud, and Rudesindo Mannia. These four deceased artists are considered the most renowned and prolific local artists.
Works by Mario Finlayson are also shown in the entrance lobby, and biographies too.
In the photographic composition above the blog you can see a selection of these paintings and quotes by the painters themselves.
In addition, the gallery has a small projection room showing footage and interviews related to the artists exhibited, which is great if you want to get to know the artists a little better.
Gibraltar Rock tours went along today to the Open Day, at the Mario Finlayson National Art Gallery. The Open day was to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the gallery and to present to the public several newly acquired artworks.Some of the artworks have been replaced with these new works by Gibraltar’s foremost masters: Bacarisas, Azagury, Mannia and Leni Mifsud. These are indicated with a blue spot so it was clear to see the new additions.
Special guided tours where given throughout the day and it was very interesting to hear a littlle about each of the Artists quirky anecdotes which you wouldn’t guess or know by just admiring the wonderful paintings.
We loved to learn that both Bacarisas and Mifsud had other artistic talents apart from painting, on show is a bust by Barcarisas in Bronze. And a Craved wooden piece of furniture by Leni Mifsud.
It was nice to see work by a female Artist on exhibition. Leni Mifsud’s postcards are exhibited these which she produced and sold, helped fund her passion, but was a bit sad to hear that she had to use her mother’s maiden name SOUSA (not out of choice) but that her father didn’t give his permission to use his Family Surname MIFSUD on her work. Well definated an outdated sign of the times but So glad that this didn’t stop her persuing her dreams and developing her talent for something she most obviously loved. She finally used her surname after her father’s death, which must admit sounded like a very liberating time for her as she cut her hair short and started smoking too !
I must encourage everyone who is an art lover to visit the gallery you will have the opportunity to chat to the staff about the artworks and most importantly, admire the works of Gibraltar’s own art legacies in the beautiful setting of the historic City Hall. It won’t take very long as it’s not very big if compared to other Galleries in capital cities you may have visited but It’s a Gallery Gibraltar should be proud of but I am certain that with so many up and coming great local artists they will have to expand to upper floors.
More about the City Hall next time I think…… thanks for taking the time to read !
The Mario Finlayson National Art Gallery is housed on the Ground floor of the City Hall, John Mackingtosh Square and Opening Times are Monday to Friday 10.00am to 6.00pm, and it is free entrance.