Trails, paintings, a sculpture and stars included in a summer celebration of Vincent Van Gogh in Ramsgate

The Vincent Van Gogh bust Photo David Townsend

A celebration will be held in Ramsgate marking artist Vincent van Gogh’s  summer in the town in 1876, where he taught at a boy’s school in Spencer Square.

A series of events are planned to take place over the summer, including the unveiling of a bronze finish bust of the artist created by sculptor Anthony Padgett.

Padgett made seven busts and gifted them to towns in Europe that are linked to the Van Gogh story, including Ramsgate.

The official unveiling takes place at noon on June 15 at Spencer Square and will be followed by art workshops and celebrations.

Photo David Townsend

The same month will see the installation of an information board in the square and later in the year a Van Gogh walking trail leaflet will be produced. Once completed, the leaflets will be kept at Spencer Square and various locations around town including the Visitor Information Centre in Harbour Parade.

During the Ramsgate International Film and TV Festival, from June 13-16, there will also be a screening of Loving Vincent: a film about Van Gogh. This will take place on June 15 at The Falstaff in Addington Street. Festival founder Sylvie Bolioli will also work on a short  film about Vincent in Ramsgate later in the year.

Photo David Townsend

Workshops supporting the project include free art events at Arts in Ramsgate in Harbour Street where, using Vincent’s letters to his brother Theo, local artists and enthusiasts will be recreating scenes he describes in Ramsgate in the Van Gogh style.

The best of the images will be exhibited at the Churchill Tavern – formerly named the Van Gogh pub in the 1960s and re-adopting the name this summer.  There will be an opportunity to buy the artwork with a percentage of profits going to a local art therapy charity and mental health charity.

Art workshops will take place throughout August at AiR hub every Wednesday 10am-1pm and Sunday 11am-2pm. Sessions are free to book – details to be released soon – but donations will be welcomed.

The artwork produced will be exhibited in September at Churchill Tavern, The Paragon and profits will go to a local mental health charity and local art therapy centre.

Vincent van Gogh (public domain)

The Churchill Tavern will also be providing space in the back of the pub  where visitors will find a Van Gogh straw chair and various props for Van Gogh selfies!  Post them up with #vincentinramsgate and follow our various pages #vincentinramsgate on instagram, facebook and twitter

A book on Vincent in Ramsgate will be produced and available from local bookshops, selected independent shops and the Visitor Information Centre.  All profits will be donated to a local art therapy centre.

Vincent Van Gogh (public domain)

Monkton Stargazers will host a Whirlpool Galaxy evening – it is widely believed that Vincent was inspired by the discovery of the Whirpool Galaxy  when he painted his Starry Night composition.   At the Monkton Observatory, visitors will get the chance to see Perseid meteor shower, the whirlpool galaxy and other constellations as well as some local Van Gogh interpretations on display. The event is scheduled for  August 12 or 13. starting at 9pm.

The events have been organised by local groups including Ramsgate Society, Ramsgate Town Team, Friends of Spencer Square, Friends of Ellington Park, Monkton Stargazers and Arts in Ramsgate.

Vincent van Gogh (public domain)

To keep up to with the Van Gogh summer events and workshops, follow #vincentinramsgate on social media platforms, Visit Ramsgate and the Vincent in Ramsgate facbook page.  Post your VG selfies and maybe even the odd sunflower or two that you might spot around Ramsgate!

Programme for June 15

noon-1pm: Unveiling of the magnificent Vincent Van Gogh bust gifted to Ramsgate by sculptor Anthony Padgett
1pm-5pm: An afternoon of music, art and entertainment for all the family. Art workshops, food & drink & a choir singing Vincent!
5pm-7.30pm: Friends of Spencer Square continue the celebrations to raise funds for the upkeep of the gardens at Spencer Square
6-7.30pm: Screening of ‘Loving Vincent’ courtesy of Ramsgate International Film & TV Festival at The Falstaff Hotel, Addington Street

Report from Rebekah Smith of Visit Ramsgate