We have invited David Ummels, Chairman of Art for Guernsey and Cultural Ambassador of the Chamber of Commerce to speak at Chamber Lunch on the 12th of June to reflect on the success of the Renoir exhibition, and share his exciting vision for the future.

Over the last few months, I have taken the time to reflect on the phenomenal success of last year’s Renoir exhibition, which not only enriched our cultural landscape but also established Guernsey as a destination for international art aficionados. The exhibition was not just a showcase of masterful art. In Art for Guernsey’s view, just curating a fine art exhibition would have been a missed opportunity, as we wanted to turn the Renoir narrative into a real island celebration. That is why we created a number of satellite events involving schools, families, local artists and the wider community. We also listened to the hospitality sector and positioned the timing of our event after the summer, so it drew tourists to our shores during the shoulder months, bolstering our local economy and enhancing our global reputation – and I want to thank everyone who played a part in its success.

The Renoir exhibition was a testament to the power of art to transcend borders, linking Guernsey to prestigious art scenes worldwide.

It positioned our island alongside renowned cultural locations, such as Giverny illustrating that Guernsey is not just a scenic retreat but a vibrant centre of artistic activity. Over my presentation, I will be sharing some hard facts about the economic impact and the numbers that “Renoir” attracted for the island economy. I will also share some insight on the hugely positive benefits that it brought to Guernsey’s country brand abroad, and the conclusions of a survey that generated more than 1,000 answers from our visitors. I am delighted that this event is sponsored by Investec, who was our headline sponsor for the exhibition, and I look forward for Jane Niles, their CEO, to share her perspective on the project

Building on this success, Art for Guernsey has launched the ‘Finding Turner’ project this spring. This new venture celebrates another illustrious artist, J.M.W. Turner, who visited our island in 1832 and left behind a legacy that the team is eager to explore and share. This initiative is not merely about organising another art exhibition; it encompasses developing educational curriculum packs for local schools and fostering a deeper appreciation of cultural heritage among our youth and wider community.

We are in positive discussions with esteemed institutions such as Tate Britain, Christie’s, and the National Gallery and our ambition is to curate a Turner exhibition in the coming years, which promises to be another landmark event for Guernsey. Needless to say, we would be open again to work with our valued local partner, the Guernsey Museums, if the opportunity would arise.

Please join us at the Chamber Lunch on June 12th, where we will delve deeper into the role of cultural diplomacy in driving economic and governmental advancements. This is more than just celebrating art; it is about strategically positioning Guernsey on the world stage as a beacon of cultural richness and historical significance.