Friday 31 March saw friends and family of the late Alan Caine coming together for the launch of his Balcony Gallery at Attenborough Arts Centre. The artwork showcased his lifetime of work as the group shared stories of their time with Alan and his dedication to the arts.
Alan was born in the American mid-west into a presbyterian tradition. After degrees in Art and Theology from American universities he lived Paris, in London and then, in the early nineteen seventies, he moved to Leicester to teach art, for the Adult Education Department, in the basement of the Percy Gee Building.
With Eleanor Hartley, and working alongside Sir Richard Attenborough, Alan later helped conceive, fund, design and launch the Attenborough Centre for Disability and the Arts – later the Attenborough Arts Centre.
As a teacher of art, in hands-on studio classes, he inspired many, spurring some into lifelong artistic practice, some into teaching or other arts professions, themselves. As a teacher about art, he drew on an immense knowledge of art and artists from all ages, leading regular group explorations into the galleries, museums and churches of Europe. Immensely popular with his students, he carried on teaching – both art appreciation and practical art classes – until he was almost 80 years old.
He was a dedicated practising artist for 60 years, most of those working from his upstairs studio in Queens Road. He worked in paint, in ink and pencil, and in woodcut and linocut with subjects and themes that shifted and rebounded over those years. His subject matter was what was right in front of him: rugs, mops, trees, leaves, dried grass, threads, knots, bundled cloth, eggs, shells and, of course, landscapes. “His is a highly spiritual yet human world of the wonder of the everyday.”
This exhibition celebrates Alan’s artistic practice and features several key works from the University of Leicester Art Collection, as well as loans from the artist’s estate. As Associate Director of this Centre he curated exhibitions for this balcony gallery and know his work hangs here to.
Come and explore the work of Alan Caine on our Balcony Gallery for all of April, open to all 7 days a week.