Exhibition brings together fine art and jazz at the University of Chichester

Jazz and fine art come together in a new collaboration at the University of Chichester which is very much open to the public.

Work by Fabrice
Work by Fabrice

Nick Reynolds, head of jazz at the university, is keen to show everyone that the university is thriving as an artistic hub in the area at a time when the arts are suffering so many cuts.

The fine art and jazz departments are working together for what will be the first event in the Fine Art Space Gallery, a new exhibitions use for the university’s artOne building (free entry between February 4-8).

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Featuring the work of artist Fabrice Cure, the exhibition Portraits in Jazz will be raising money for the Sussex Snowdrop Trust as well as celebrating a collaboration of music and the visual arts, featuring live jazz on the Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings (7-9pm, in the artOne building , again free entry).

“We have got a jazz degree at the University of Chichester that has been running for five or six years, and we have been doing jazz here for a lot longer than that. We have built up a jazz department which is doing really well; we have got the full jazz degree; and we have been really interested in trying to work collaboratively with other departments within the university.

“A lot of arts has been cut from schools. Music and other arts have been sidelined for maths and English, but I think art is vital for society and I think it is really important that the university promotes all the arts, to show that people can come to events that show that art and jazz are still alive and are still socially relavant. We also want to show that the university is a central hub.”

“Jazz has always striven to be a music of inclusivity, diversity, creativity and innovation and it still holds an important place as an evolving global art form. Artist Fabrice Cure has produced a series of works that in his own words ‘celebrate the history of jazz through its performers; from its African and American roots to the present day, as a form of vivid, multi-cultural expression.” This is also a celebration of art in general and its importance to contemporary society and culture.

“Fabrice is a French artist and is also the father of one of our fourth-year jazz students. He is a huge jazz fan and his daughter is a very talented jazz musician. We were always talking about collaborating on something, and he wanted to do a series of paintings of jazz musicians through the different eras. Slowly it emerged into the idea of Portraits in Jazz, huge paintings that he has done in all sorts of different styles. It will appeal to people of all ages. He is a very versatile and interesting and very vivid artist.”

A key part of the project is also to support the Sussex Snowdrop Trust, a cause the musicians have long espoused: “The trust is an incredible charity which the University of Chichester music department have been supporting through concerts and events over many years.

“This event aims to raise money for the trust as well as provide an exciting collaboration between the fine arts and the jazz department at the University of Chichester.”

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