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Hereford – For a Bit of Culture

Hereford – For a Bit of Culture

Hereford, the major city of Herefordshire, as well as being part of one of the most beautiful counties in England, has more than its fair share of culture. And best of all, two of the city’s most prominent museums are admission-free.

The Hereford Museum and Art Gallery can be found at the far end of Broad Street, which is just off the main town square. It’s housed in a decorative Victorian gothic building above the city’s main library and there’s been a museum exhibiting artwork and local artefacts at this venue since 1874.

As you enter the building, you’ll see some display cases with a taster of what’s to come; these displays are changed on a regular basis. The museum and art gallery proper are on the second floor – though there is access for wheelchair users via a lift. As the stairwell sweeps up to the floor above, you can’t fail to notice the valuable Kenchester Roman mosaic which covers a large area of the wall; although incomplete, it’s still very impressive. Various artworks are also displayed on the walls of the stairway.

Inside, the museum has a good collection of interesting local history. A timeline is set around the outer display cabinets and depicts important periods of history. Local events and places are represented with some interesting tales about local customs and there are costumes, swords and a variety of tools and implements.

The Hereford Museum and Art Gallery also believes in giving its visitors a chance for a little hands-on time, which is especially popular with children. There’s an unusual exhibit of a live beehive (fully encased) along with a two-headed calf, and a huge fish.

The art gallery at the far end of the museum hosts exhibitions that change every couple of months so there’s always something new to see.

The Old House is situated in High Town in the city’s commercial heart and is an astonishingly well-preserved 17th century timber-framed building. No visit to Hereford is complete without taking a look around inside. It was built in 1621 and started out as the shop and dwelling of a butcher. It’s been a museum and a Hereford landmark since 1929 and contains every kind of artefact needed for daily living in Jacobean times.

The furniture is all period style including a fine four-poster bed and, the items that often most delights visitors, authentic baby walkers, proving there really is no new ideas! There are some rare wall paintings too and, like the Hereford Museum, The Old House offers some hands-on activities for children including puzzles and reproduction clothing.

Because of its nature, the upper floors are not accessible to wheelchair users, but there is a virtual tour on the lower floor, which is fully accessible and there are Braille, audio guides and tactile images available.

You can fully enjoy your stay in Hereford by choosing from a wide selection of Hereford Bed and Breakfast.

For more information on places in Herefordshire, follow the link in the resource box below.…

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The Business of Art

The Business of Art

It’s easy to see art in purely idealistic or aesthetic terms. Art as beauty, as truth, as a purveyor of a crucial message, as a fundamental mirror of society are all familiar ideas, popular throughout the centuries and still able to find a home in today’s world.

There is some truth in this perception, and it remains a fact that people talk about ‘art for art’s sake’ in a way that they would never do, for example, if they were talking about law or accountancy. There is something ‘special’, perhaps even something slightly revered, about art, which makes it different to other careers.

In some respects this is a good thing. It contributes towards the respect with which art is regarded, and it helps artists to themselves appreciate the value of what they are doing. Perhaps it even plays a role in ensuring that artists enjoy the act of creation and take an appropriate pride in their work.

Despite all this, however, there is a potential hazard in perceiving art in this way to the exclusion of other ideas. For many people, after all, art is not just a hobby; it is a career. And for professional artists, failing to come to terms with the fact that art is, in some sense, a business, can spell disaster. How are you going to make a living at something if you refuse to take it seriously as a living? It is essential to be realistic and put your mind to the business aspects of being an artist, as well as the creative side.

That means that you can’t afford to spend absolutely all of your time in the studio or out hunting materials. If you do that, you soon won’t be able to afford the materials you want. Instead, set time aside when you are planning your week to devote to the more practical necessities of life as an artist.

Your work might be wonderful, but if no one has seen it, it won’t sell. Get your name out there, advertise in local shops and areas, participate in group exhibitions, show your work in online galleries like Art-Mine. Keep an eye open for potentially interesting competitions or other opportunities that might help build up your profile – spend time looking online and in newspapers or magazines to see what’s available this month.

Getting involved with local artist organizations can be useful, as you build contacts in your field and are more likely to hear of opportunities that may come up. Similarly, maintain a relationship with past buyers – get their address or their email and send season greetings cards, ask them for recommendations and references, give them your card to pass on to friends.

None of this is to say that business considerations should overwhelm your creative energies or take over time intended for making art. But it should be an established part of your routine, and must be recognized as a legitimate way of spending time.

To be a professional artist, you must take your career seriously, as well as your art.…

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Mini Guide to Shopping in Guilin Zhengyang Walking Street

Mini Guide to Shopping in Guilin Zhengyang Walking Street

Not only is Guilin famous for its fascinating natural landscapes, but it wins hands down when it comes to its competitive consumerism in China, where you can find all you’ve desired from local souvenirs and specialties to ethnic handcrafts and then to period pieces, and here’s a mini guide to shopping in Guilin Zhengyang Walking Street for your reference.

As the most famous walking street in Guilin, Zhengyang Walking Street is lined with stores, cafes, opening air canteens, bars, heaving with high quality clothes, delicious comestibles and local specialties.

Wangcheng Department Store is the biggest one of its kind on the street, known as a favorite for girls owing to its authentic jewelries and lady fashions, which also offers delicious food at its basement, and a great bonus is that you can taste before you buy.

Walking from east to west along the street, you’ll find a clock tower in the middle of the street, which serves as an ideal site for visitors to take photos.

On the left corner of the street is a narrow laneway with dozens of stalls offering unique local antiques, cheap jewelries, seals, carvings, batiks and Chinese brush drawings, where the porcelain sets, Buddha figurines and the four treasures of the study (i.e. writing brush, ink stick, ink slab, paper) are also available, and it is an ideal place if you’re in need of authentic Chinese gift-shopping inspiration.

Proceeding with your walking, you’ll find a number of western-style bars available on both sides of the street, highlighted by sexy girl night-performances, which are generally geared towards foreigners, so English is widely spoken by waitresses here. The western classic music from the bars goes through the windows into the street, some of which are rather nostalgic, offering a comfortable harbor for bachelors and the lonely, of course, the served snacks in the bars are rather tasty at a rational price.

Walking past the bar cluster, you’ll find a rather modern art gallery on the right side of the street, where a number of Chinese brush drawings are complemented with western-style modern ladies, highlighted by Guilin Mountain-Water scenery, and all the paintings are done by local artists. There’s one thing to mention, and visitors aren’t allowed to take photos in the art gallery, however, you can stay as long as you like here for appreciation. Opposite to the art gallery line two-row stalls offering local souvenirs, featured by Guilin local stone carvings and seal carvings.

At the end of the street lies a Japan-operated restaurant, where the girls wear Japanese traditional kimonos, setting off with Japanese-style furniture and decorations. Look ahead from the end of the street, and you will find the Sun and Moon Pagodas in “Two-River and the Four-Lake Water System “.…

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What is Stuckism?

What is Stuckism?

Stuckism is the child of millennium. This international art movement was originated in 1999. Billy Childish and Charles Thomson are the chief proponents of this movement. Their goal is the propagation of figurative painting against conceptual art. It was first constituted by a group of thirteen British artists. Gradually it expanded in all dimensions crossing geographic barriers. It reportedly comprises 209 groups in 48 countries as of May 2010.

The Stuckists openly criticizes and stages demonstrations, mainly outside Tate Britain, against the Turner Prize. In some of these demonstrations, the members of the group dress like clowns. They have also opposed against the Young British Artists sponsored by Charles Saatchi.

Initially they used to exhibit their works in small galleries at Shoreditch, London. Their first major public museum show was arranged in the Walker Art Gallery, in 2004 as a programme of the Liverpool Biennial. They have initiated numerous campaigns to propagate their views; some of them are as follows:

1. Contesting in the 2001 general election,

2. Complaining Saatchi to the Office of Fair Trading for misuse of his power in the art world though such complaints was not sustained, and

3. Requesting under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the release of Tate Gallery trustee minutes.

The last attempt created a media scandal reportedly about the acquisition of Chris Ofili’s work, The Upper Room. Consequently the Charity Commission face reprimands from the Tate.

The Stuckists manifesto was written in August 1999 by Childish and Thomson. It stresses on the worth of painting as a medium, and using it for communication, the expression of emotion and experience as well. Thus it opposes to the depiction of superficial novelty, nihilism, postmodernism and irony of conceptual art. The most controversial proclamation in this manifesto says that only painters are artists. They wrote a second manifesto named An Open Letter to Sir Nicholas Serota. The addressee replied with acknowledgement but he refused to comment on the same. Their third manifesto is Remodernism. In this literature, they announced that substitution of postmodernism by Remodernism as their goal. They described this process of substitution as a phase of renewal in spiritual (but not religious) values in creative endeavors, culture and society. They published successive manifestoes as detailed below:

1. Handy Hints,

2. Anti-anti-art,

3. The Cappuccino writer and the Idiocy of Contemporary Writing,

4. The Turner Prize,

5. The Decrepitude of the Critic and

6. Stuckist critique of Damien Hirst.

Such manifestos have also been written by others in affiliates, even by the Students for Stuckism group. On MySpace Liv Soul and Rebekah Maybury, in 2006, both at their age of sixteen, has co-formed “Underage Stuckists” for the teenagers. In the same year Allen Herndon published contentious The Manifesto of the American Stuckists. Entire content of this book was challenged by the Los Angeles Stuckists group.…

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World-Class Galleries and Museums in Singapore

World-Class Galleries and Museums in Singapore

Singapore acclaims itself as one of Asia’s cultural capitals today and it is one of the countries in Asia with many galleries and museums to visit. World class exhibition of art are displayed in various galleries and museums in Singapore with great collection that showcase Singapore’s art and cultural histories. The Singapore government aims to make their country as a cosmopolitan gateway between the East and the West. Steps taken to attain this include the promotion of their art through the Singapore Arts Festival and the opening of numerous art galleries and museums.

Singapore’s National Museums

The National Museum of Singapore is Singapore’s oldest museum built back on 1849. It merely started as a library of the Singapore Institution and eventually became the national museum of Singapore. It specializes in Singapore history and is known with its cast collection of zoological artifacts which were now transferred to the National University of Singapore. Among its precious artifacts are the Singapore Stone, Gold Ornaments of the Sacred Hill, will of Munshi Abdullah, and portrait of Frank Athelstane Swettenham among many others. One can also find one of the first photographs of Singapore, the Dagguerreotype of Singapore.

The Asian Civilisations Museum is one of the three museums of the National Museums of Singapore. It specializes in pan-Asian cultures and civilizations and showcases the significant history of China, West and South Asiam and Southeast Asia. You can trace the diverse ethnical group ancestors of Singapore here. Among the museum’s highlights are the different decorative art involving calligraphy, export porcelain, statues of Taoist and Buddhistic origins, and other porcelain figures of Chinese collection. Broad spectrums of statuary collections are also found like the Chola bronzes. Buddhist arts of India are also popular that are hailed from Mathura and Gandhara schools. They also display broad Southeast Asian collections of ethnological material.

The Peranakan Museum is another world-class museum that specializes in Peranakan culture. This is the first museum in the world that explores the Peranakan cultures and other previous Straits Settlements in Asia. Being the sister museum of the Asian Civilisations Museum it has an extended wing to its artifact collection that houses the Old Tao Nan School building. About 112,000 visitors are expected annually from the museum making it one of the most visited museums in Singapore. The museum has 10 galleries specializing on Peranakan arts and culture.

Among the highlights of the Singapore Art Museum are the national collections of arts of Taiwan, South American and Singapore. One can find about 7750 pieces of modern contemporary art of Singapore and Southeast Asia with the expansion of New Asian and International Contemporary Art collections. It is one of the museums in Singapore with the international standard for museum facilities in Southeast Asia and become a part of the growing leagues of new generation of museums throughout the world with its exhibitions of art and building different community outreach programs.

Apart from these attractions in the Singapore Art Museum its location is strategic for tourists to visit being at the center of the shopping district of Singapore just near the Waterloo Street Arts Belt and other major visual arts and performing arts institutions with accessibility to public transportation.…

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African City – Johannesburg

African City – Johannesburg

The first thing that used to come to mind when I thought of Africa was a barren hilly land, scorching sun, poverty ridden area, the supernatural, indigenous religions, etc. Recently I found out that that is not the case. Fact is I was ignorant of what Africa really looks like. Just like every rich country/continent has a poor area, so does Africa. The only difference is, Africa gets more media coverage on that due to documentary channels. Africa, just like the rest of the world, has its share of modern and prosperous cities like Johannesburg, which hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup final. This giant hub has begun introducing itself to a healthier diet of urban renewal.

Johannesburg has a dry sunny climate and the city enjoys mild temperatures between 26A� and 16A� due to the city’s high altitude. Maintained by City Parks, Johannesburg is one of the greenest cities of the world and has the largest man-made forest in the world. Not only that, the city has some of the tallest buildings in Africa.

The most popular sports participated by the locals are the Football, Cricket and Rugby. On Sundays, several athletic clubs organize informal runs that are participated by tens of thousands of runners.

The people in Johannesburg get around using buses, taxis, mass transits, trains or private transport. Johannesburg has four airports handling international and domestic flights. The freeways, more commonly known as highways are one of the major roads in Johannesburg.

Crime is a non-ignorable issue and tourists are warned to be careful and pay attention to personal security while visiting the city.

Johannesburg city is not a common destination for tourists but often visited by people with connecting flights to cities like Cape Town, Durban, etc. This has led to the development of tourist attraction places in the city with quite a number of museums; Johannesburg Art Gallery, Museum Africa and Zoology Museum are among the many. Among place not to be missed are the Sterkfontein fossil site and the Origins Centre Museum which houses a huge collection of rock art.

Johannesburg is a commercial hub with home to many international companies like IBM, Standard Bank, First National Bank, etc. Johannesburg offers a range of venues for shopping, from numerous shopping malls like Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square, to various flea markets; Oriental Plaza and Rosebank Flea Market. The Rosebank Flea Market is quite popular for African Art souvenirs.

Johannesburg has a well-developed higher education system. It has quite a number of private and public universities. University of Johannesburg and University of the Witwatersrand are two public universities. Some of the private universities here include Monash University and Midrand Graduate Institute

Overall, Johannesburg city is worth a visit even if it is just to see the World Cup Stadium, the ‘greenest’ city of the world, the skyscrapers or just stop by on a transit.…

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Beijing – Have an Amazing Holiday in the Celestial City

Beijing – Have an Amazing Holiday in the Celestial City

Located on the north-east of China, Beijing is the cosmopolitan capital of business and leisure. It is one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of more than 19 million. It is China’s political, educational and cultural center.

Although the city is busy the whole year, spring and autumn are the most popular seasons to visit the city. However if you are planning a vacation in spring, watch out for sporadic sandstorms. Summers are hot, humid and crowded so think twice before visiting then. You can visit in winter if you want lesser crowds and cheap plane tickets. Do not visit during public holidays as it gets very crowded.

The Beijing Capital International Airport entertains most of the flights to Beijing. It is the second busiest airport in the world. Air China is among the best airlines to offer cheap domestic flights to the city. For bargain-hunters, May is the best month to obtain cheap tickets to Beijing. Lufthansa, KLM and Air France are a few airlines to provide cheap flights to Beijing.

Being the epicenter of Chinese culture, the city has many national, historical and cultural sites. Forbidden City is the historical center of the city. It is a huge palace compound where the emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties used to live. It is home to the Palace Museum, where the collection of Chinese art will surprise you.

The destination has a complex religious culture. It has inputs from both the traditional religion and old philosophy. The citizens can practice in a number of faiths together. Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism are the three major religions followed, but you can also find Islam and Christianity slowly making their way into the culture. Temple of Heaven is one of the popular religious sites you must see.

The city has more than 100 museums for you to choose from. In addition to the Palace Museum, other museums worth a visit include the Capital Museum, the National Museum of China, the Beijing Art Museum and the Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution.

Beijing Opera (or Peking Opera) is a world renowned traditional form of Chinese Theater. It originated in the 19th century and was made famous by the Qing Dynasty court. It includes unique songs, choreographed body movements, spoken dialogue and fight sequences. Zhengyici Xilou and Huguang Guild Hall offer traditional Beijing Opera performances.

Beijing Cuisine, the traditional cooking style of the city, is also known as Mandarin Cuisine. It is a mixture of culinary traditions from all over China, mostly the eastern coastal province Shandong. Peking Roast Duck and Fuling Jiabing are the most popular dishes in the city.

Nightlife in the city has a lot to offer. From extravagant dinners and breathtaking shows to exotic night snacks and romantic bars, there’s nothing you can’t enjoy as evening falls in the city. The streets and buildings are lighted and there is a wide array of events and activities. Donghuamen Night market is a famous night hangout.…

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5 Reasons to Visit Singapore For a Holiday

5 Reasons to Visit Singapore For a Holiday

Singapore is a tourist friendly city that sees a large number of visitors every year. Here are the top five reasons to visit the city of Singapore.

1. Easy Access to Asia- Singapore is an island city that offers flights to and from almost every major city in Asia. It is a hub that connects Asia to the rest of the world, and travellers who are looking to visit other countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia will be easily be able to include Singapore on their itinerary and spend a couple of days in this magnificent city.

2. Singapore is a green city – Singapore has strict regulations with regards to cleanliness, and these rules have kept the city area of Singapore eco-friendly and green. On account of the government program that started in the 1960s, the city has made an effort to turn itself into a garden city, and today, Singapore is easily one of the greenest cities in the world. Visitors to Singapore will enjoy the clean air and scenic surroundings.

3. Shopping – Visitors to Singapore will enjoy shopping in this region which has plenty to offer the budget and the luxury traveller. Some of the best shopping destinations in Singapore include Orchard Road and Bugis Street. Tourists will also enjoy a visit to Chinatown and the Little India district which has a 24-hour mall. Singapore is an ideal place for shoppers, with a range of different products available at competitive prices in malls located all over the city.

4. Museums- Visitors to Singapore with an interest in culture and history will enjoy the many museums in the region. Some of the popular options include the Changi Museum, the Singapore Science Centre, Singapore Art Museum, Peranakan Museum, Maritime Museum, Singapore Philatelic Museum, Nei Xue Tang Museum, Mint Museum of Toys and the international visitors are sure to enjoy. These museums often host events that showcase a number of art forms from Malaysian, Chinese and Indian cultures.

5. Singapore is a holiday destination for any budget – When visiting Singapore, it is not necessary to travel with a lot of money as the region is capable of catering to any budget. The budget traveller will find plenty of inexpensive flights to Singapore and can stay at one of the many budget hotels on the island. Using Singapore’s public transport system will also help to save on costs. If you would prefer an extravagant holiday, Singapore has plenty of options to offer in terms of a luxury vacation. Several exquisite restaurants and luxury hotel options are available all over the city; while Orchard Road boasts some of the best designer label boutiques in Singapore.…

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West Cornwall – A Destination For Art Lovers

West Cornwall – A Destination For Art Lovers

Despite being noticeably far away from such cultural centres as London and other urban art areas in the UK, Cornwall has an artistic heritage which stretches far into the last century. The region’s uniquely rugged landscape, temperate climate and intriguing history has influenced many artists and sculptors over the years leading to the establishment of Falmouth College of Arts (now part of University College Falmouth) and numerous other place of artistic interest. The western tip of Cornwall is particularly well-known for must-see sites for art fans – and this article details just a few key places.

Tate St Ives is situated just off Porthmeor Beach in this vibrant and popular town on the North Cornwall coast. The art deco building has exhibited many works from famous names over the years including Damien Hurst and Derek Jarman as well as many local artists including those who honed their craft at the St Ives School during its heyday in the 50s and 60s. The gallery currently has a diverse collection and is easily accessible via car and public transport.

Aside from the Tate, St Ives is also home to the Barbara Hepworth Museum which works to preserve the home and workshop of the famous sculptor who died in 1975. A sculpture garden exhibits much of her work, but it is also possible to see her living room and workshop which have been hardly touched since Hepworth’s death. For those with an interest in art history and its influence on the town, the museum is a great opportunity to explore the way Hepworth lived and to learn about her involvement in the Penwith Society of Art which she led with painter Ben Nicholson.

The south coast of Cornwall is also home to two distinctive galleries. Newlyn Art Gallery located in Newlyn just outside Penzance has been open since 1895 and was extended in 2006/2007. The gallery was originally intended to exhibit work from the Newlyn School of Art but in recent years has grown to incorporate work as far ranging as photography, abstract and modern painting, mixed media and sculpture – as well as hosting its own festival with music and poetry.

As part of major expansion work, the Newlyn Art Gallery team announced an extension to their existing site and a new in-town gallery called The Exchange in Penzance. The new gallery opened in 2007 and is free to visit all year round. It has since become well-known for the amount of public-participation events that happen there including Extended Play! and Transition 9 which both allowed the audience to take part in producing art. Penzance is easy to reach by car, bus and mainline train.…