Arts Council appoints first patrons as it develops Island of Culture 2014 legacy
The Isle of Man Arts Council has appointed its first patrons as it develops the legacy of Island of Culture 2014.
Recently retired President of Tynwald Clare Christian OBE and renowned artist Michael Sandle, a member of the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts, have accepted invitations to be patrons of the body.
The Arts Council provides funding, support and guidance to individuals and organisations involved in art and culture on the Island. It promotes participation, creativity and excellence.
It comprises eight voluntary members under the chairmanship of Geoff Corkish MBE MLC and is funded by a proportion of tax from lottery ticket sales.
Mr Corkish said: 'As we advance the legacy of the Arts Council's year-long celebration, Island of Culture 2014, we are honoured that two such outstanding personalities have consented to be patrons.
'They will assist us in promoting and inspiring participation, creativity and excellence in the arts and culture, strengthening our links to the community and promoting our strong Manx identity.
'I am happy we can continue working with Mrs Christian, who contributed much as a patron of Island of Culture 2014, and that we can benefit from connections with Michael Sandle, an adopted son of the Isle of Man who is a leading name in the arts world.
'These appointments are a reflection of the esteem in which the Arts Council and our cultural community hold them.'
During Island of Culture 2014, Mrs Christian attended events as an audience member, supporter and speaker.
She was instrumental in the installation of Michael Sandle's maquette of Godred Croven for display in the Legislative Buildings and led on work involving the Archibald Knox Society.
She said: 'I am honoured to accept the invitation to be an Arts Council patron. I recognise the breadth and depth of the arts offering in the Island and I am delighted to lend support to all the people and organisations who embrace and nurture the arts in all their aspects in our community.'
Michael Sandle grew up in the Island and attended the Douglas School of Art and Technology before becoming one of the world's most acclaimed sculptors and painters.
He is one of only two artists from the Isle of Man to hold Royal Academician status. Just 80 artists at a time have the title.
His Viking sculpture at the Erin Arts Centre and Memorial to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in the sunken gardens in Douglas were Arts Council commissions. His work features in the Arts Council's contemporary art loan collection.
'I am passionate about the Manx arts and cultural scene and am thrilled to accept this invitation to be a patron of the Arts Council,' Mr Sandle said. 'Public investment in the arts remains vital if opportunities are to exist for all and the role of the Arts Council is key to that. Supporting that role is something I look forward to.'
Examples of Sandle's work can be found in the Loan Collection here.
For more information about the Arts Council, visit www.iomarts.com