Italian supporters travel to Sidbury art show

PUBLISHED: 15:14 03 June 2010 | UPDATED: 14:02 18 June 2010

IT was a red letter day for landscape artist Alan Cotton when he heard that seven friends from Piemonte in Northern Italy were making a special trip to Devon to see his solo exhibition at Sidbury Mill.

IT was a red letter day for landscape artist Alan Cotton when he heard that seven friends from Piemonte in Northern Italy were making a special trip to Devon to see his solo exhibition at Sidbury Mill.

With them was Alan's great friend Mario Gerlotto from Exmouth.

It was Mario who first introduced Alan to the Langhe region of Piemonte, telling him he should go there to paint as it was far more beautiful than Tuscany.

Over the years Alan, who works from his studio home in Budleigh Salterton, has made many friends there, particularly in Serevalle Langhe, Mario's home village.

So touched by the warmth and hospitality of the people was Alan, that he has taken groups out there to paint on three occasions and is planning another Painting in Piemonte trip in 2011.

People there are so immensely proud of their region that when Alan had an exhibition of 50 paintings of the hill towns and landscape of The Langhe at Messum's gallery in London's West End, many of the villagers, including the priest, travelled all the way to London to see the show.

This week Lauretta and Angelo Risaglia and their daughter Elenor, who has now taken over the family's Belvedere Restaurant in Serrevalle Langhe, travelled to Devon with friends, to see the exhibition at Sidbury Mill and to explore and enjoy our region.

After their visit on Monday afternoon, Alan invited them to his home for a traditional Devon cream tea in the garden.

He said: "It was fantastic to me that they came all this way. We had an amazing weekend at Sidbury Mill, with nearly 1,000 people coming and sales were pretty splendid."

The exhibition continues until 4pm on Sunday, June 6.


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