Jack Vettriano exhibition success delights bosses

FROM time to time it is worth taking a risk and, in the past, the council's arm's length company that runs Glasgow's museums and art galleries has taken risks that have paid off in spades.

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Kelvingrove is very much the people's museum, so it should perhaps be no surprise previous exhibitions have featured singer Kylie Minogue and rockers AC/DC.

But it was the decision of museum bosses to stage the first major retrospective by Scots artist Jack Vettriano that stunned the art world.

Vettriano has been spurned by many critics who dismiss his work out of hand and most galleries have refused to hang any of his paintings.

However, the public love Vettriano's work and last week it was announced the retrospective had greeted its 100,000th visitor.

About 1000 people a day are visiting the gallery to see paintings in the private collections of art lovers, including actor Jack Nicholson and lyricist Sir Tim Rice.

It is likely that number will soar with a last minute rush of fans keen to see Vettriano's work before the exhibition closes on February 23.

It is not beyond the bounds of possibility the retrospective will prove more popular than the hugely successful Glasgow Boys exhibition, which attracted 120,000 people and gained wide critical acclaim.

If Vettriano does come out tops it will be a poke in the eye from the people of Glasgow to the arts establishment.

Later this year, Kelvingrove will be back in the spotlight when the Antiques Roadshow visits Glasgow to record an edition of the popular BBC1 programme.

That's good news for Glasgow Life bosses, who will be hoping the result will be a further boost in visitor numbers.

One Glasgow Life venue is certain to enjoy a boost in visitor numbers, having been closed for the past two years.

North Woodside Pool is one of the longest continually operating public baths in the UK but was forced to close when the roof was damaged in a storm in January 2012.

But next month it will reopen after repair work costing £820,000, finally quashing rumours it would close for good.

Last week, the city's heads of industry and senior national politicians, including Scottish Labour deputy leader Anas Sarwar, took to the streets over two days to sell the Big Issue in an attempt to raise the profile of the organisation.

Surprisingly, no city council officials and only one councillor - Labour's Malcolm Cunning - are believed to have joined in the celebrations.

Lets hope none of the others ever find themselves out of work and depending on the Big Issue for their next meal.

vivienne.nicoll@eveningtimes.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment

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