'Priceless' jewels snatched from German state museum

Robbers made off with priceless 18th century jewellery from a state museum in Dresden on Monday, police and museum directors said, in a major art heist that has shocked Germany. The thieves at dawn broke into the Green Vault at Dresden’s Royal Palace — home to around 4,000 precious objects of ivory, gold, silver and jewels — after a power cut deactivated the alarm. The stolen items included brilliant-cut diamonds that belonged to a collection of jewellery of 18th-century Saxony ruler Augustus the Strong. Museum directors had earlier feared much of three sets of diamond jewellery in the collection were snatched, but the loss turned out to be more limited than thought. “The criminals didn’t manage to take everything,” the director of Dresden’s state art collections Marion Ackermann told public broadcaster ZDF on Monday evening.

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OPPORTUNITY: Arts Catalyst seeks new members of the Board of Trustees

Monday, March 2, 2020 – 17:00Arts Catalyst is recruiting new trustees at an exciting time as we relocate from London to Sheffield in South Yorkshire. Recognised as one of the UK’s leading art and research organisations, we regularly work in collaboration with artists, scientists, communities and organisations around the world to activate new ideas, conversations and transformative experiences across science and culture. Arts Catalyst is recognised internationally as pioneering arts and science practice. Since 1994, we’ve commissioned more than 170 artists’ projects, including major new works by the Otolith Group, Tomás Saraceno, Aleksandra Mir, Larry Achiampong & David Blandy and Critical Art Ensemble, and produced numerous exhibitions, events, residencies, performances and publications, collaborating with major arts, science and academic organisations around the world. We plan to open a new public centre for art, science and technology in Sheffield in March 2021. At this pivotal moment in our journey, we are looking for new trustees based in the north of England to help shape the organisation’s future. Join the board Our Board is dynamic and diverse, passionate about the arts and active within the creative industries, including academia, music and the commercial sector. With Arts Catalyst’s full relocation to Sheffield we are now seeking new charity trustees who are based in the north of England to join the Board in 2020.  Trustees are responsible for steering the strategic direction and governance of the charity (see Application Pack for more details). We are seeking people who are enthusiastic about contemporary arts and the role cultural organisations play in creating societal change. We are interested in hearing from people with skills, knowledge and expertise in one or more of the following areas: Third sector – particularly in health and wellbeingBusiness leadership including commercial orientated income strategies, HR and financial managementStrategic development, city planning and capital developmentLocal governance and politicsNew media and technology and creative mediaEnvironmental sustainability Television, broadcasting and pressFIND OUT MORE AND HOW TO APPLY Please download the Application Pack for full details. Email your CV and covering letter to Laura Clarke, Artistic Director via laura.clarke@artscatalyst.org by 1 July 2020. Arts Catalyst operates an Equalities Policy and actively encourages diversity and inclusivity across all areas of the organisation. We ask all applicants to complete an Equal Opportunities form to help us monitor the reach of our job adverts. Download it here.

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Catherine Hicks: Embroidery portraiture and mirrors

Looking for something to direct her energy into after her children had left home, Catherine Hicks dug deep into her psyche and realised there was a stifled artist inside just waiting to get out.

Having pushed away the urge to create art for many years, a weekend painting course led to a year of concentrated painting and a need to take her work a step further. She fed her cravings through studying art history and learning about her favourite artists. She began experimenting with paint, dye and woven ribbon strips, piecing together larger works of art.

One day, she started to panic during a class assignment. She had to create a self-portrait with pastels but couldn’t work with them. She made a snap decision to try using pastel-colour thread for the portrait instead. It was a great success and a journey into the world of fibre art beckoned. Now, several years on and Catherine is a professional embroidery artist. Her prize-winning portraits have been shown internationally and throughout the United States.

She freely admits that she is capable of making only three stitches, straight stitch, French knots, and buttonhole. With these three stitches, she gives her portraits a great detail with a lively depth through her expert understanding of light and shadow.

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Job Opportunity: Deputy Director (Maternity Cover)

Monday, February 24, 2020 – 16:45Arts Catalyst is pleased to announce a new job opportunity of Deputy Director (Maternity Cover) which will be based in the city centre of Sheffield.  Title: Deputy Director (Maternity Cover)Salary: £35,000 to £37,500 per annum (pro rata), based on experienceReporting to: Artistic Director / CEOContract Terms: 3.0 days a week. 24 hours (flexible working), fixed term for 9 months (with probationary period of 2 months).Location: Sheffield city centreApplication Deadline: 6pm, 6th April 2020 Working closely with the Artistic Director/CEO and Board of Trustees, the Deputy Director’s responsibilities include: day-to-day finances, operational/general organisational management, fundraising for the artistic programme and capital development with the Artistic Director and supporting the organisation’s Arts Council England NPO application. The Deputy Director will join Arts Catalyst at a crucial and transformational time in is 25-year history – when the organisation will be relocating its premises and operations to Sheffield in South Yorkshire.   Working alongside the Artistic Director they will play a vital role in delivering a capital fundraising project for the organisation’s new site. Therefore, senior management, operational and large-scale/strategic fundraising experience is essential whilst experience in delivering a capital project is desirable.  The role will involve covering elements of the Executive Director / Joint CEO’s role between June 2020 to March 2021. Elements of the role include: • Fundraising – Major grants• Capital Development / Fundraising• Submission of the 2022 – 2026 Arts Council NPO• Monitoring organisational finances (budgets set by the AD)• Operational management• Day-to-day financial management• Ensuring the business plan goals are being metClick here to download a full job description and further information about how to apply. 

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Pauline Nijenhuis: From conception to creation

Artist, Pauline Nijenhuis, has an enquiring mind. Not one to stand on the bylines and watch as 21st century production processes – including in textile art – enter an increasingly technological age, she poses some searching questions through her specially designed art projects.

Following the success of her first HAND@WORK project, Pauline has developed her second in the series to ask: what differences do we see in the ‘handwriting’ work of five embroidery artists? And how will the public evaluate the work made by hand in relation to the same work embroidered by a machine? Moreover, do people, in this era of growing digitization and robotization, still appreciate handiwork?

In her first HAND@WORK experiment in 2017 – entitled Fast Work, Time Consuming Landscape – Pauline challenged herself to work increasingly fast to see what effect it had on herself, the artist, and on the resulting artwork. Her project and its conclusions were presented in an installation at the exhibition ‘Time, Space and Architecture’ at Cityscapes Gallery in Amsterdam and also published in a book.

Pauline’s aim is not just to focus on the field of the visual arts, but to see how the ICT revolution affects our lives, our jobs and our prosperity as a whole – and on us as human beings.

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