Kettering Council is delighted to have won two heritage awards for its museum and art gallery.
The Alfred East Art Gallery won best exhibition for Hidden Treasures, in which rarely-seen paintings from the gallery’s collection hung from floor to ceiling, and an award for work with children and young people for the project The Exhibitionists, in which 13 to 19-year-olds were recruited to take part in a series of creative master-classes, in the Northamptonshire Museums and Historic Houses Forum Heritage Awards.
Valerie Hitchman, head of community services for Kettering Council, said: “As there are about 50 organisations which can compete for the awards this was a tremendous achievement.
“We have about 35,000 visitors a year to the museum and gallery and so we know they appreciate the cultural offer on their doorstep but to have this acknowledgment from among our peers is fantastic.
Hidden Treasures, which was open in February and March, received more than 2,500 visitors from all over the UK and repeat visitors from the local regions.
The council said feedback was exceptional and plans are already in place for a bigger and better display to mark the centenary of the Alfred East Art Gallery and the life of Mr East next year.
In The Exhibitionists in February youngsters worked with museum staff to develop the skills needed to propose, plan and install their very own exhibition. They learned how to curate and create an exhibition from scratch, develop ideas and concepts, design publicity, develop interpretation, prepare and hang work.
Kettering Youth Council has announced funding to re-display the exhibition in the town centre this summer.
Mrs Hitchman said: “The staff leading on these exhibitions were Katie Boyce and Eleanor Baumber and one of our casuals Katie Lewis.
“They have been working with us for less than a year, so you can see they have really excelled.”
Jonathan Bullock, portfolio holder for community and culture on Kettering Council, said: “The Alfred East Gallery and Manor House Museum have had a fantastic year of exhibitions and activities that have been popular with families looking for things to do.”
The Museum and Gallery are open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 4.45pm.