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Smile please! 8 local exhibitions for a culture fix

Lockdown 2 is looming but there's still fun to be had. Get out quick - or get your diary out - to catch one of these brilliant new local exhibitions.

PHOTOGRAPHY: 100 First Women, RAMM, Exeter, until 21 Feb 2021

A fascinating exhibition of photographic portraits by Anita Corbin (pictured) at RAMM, featuring 100 female firsts, great and small, including Devon’s own Dame Hilary Mantel (first woman to win the Man Booker Prize – twice). What’s surprising is how recent some of the firsts are: Edith Kent – equal pay 1943, Janice Long (remember her?) the first woman to present TOTP. If you missed it when it opened back in October, book in via RAMM’s Lates on Thurs 12 Nov, when Anita will be walking around the gallery and doing a Q&A, plus cocktail recipes, tales of adventure and more. Plus, they’ve just announced it’s been extended by three whole months until February 2021.

SOCIAL HISTORY: Telling Our Stories, Finding Our Roots, Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, until 6 Feb 

The result of a year-long project with shared experiences from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities of living, working and raising their families in and around Bideford. All done via photos, oral history and personal artefacts in the museum. In the meantime, if you’re looking for unique arty gifts for Chrimbo, Burton’s new online shop is now live with a Christmas shop full of the most bee-oootiful festive cards, candles and advent calendars.

CRAFT: Art Bank, Pop-up Art Gallery, South Street Collective, Fore Steet, Totnes, until 3 Jan

The South Street Collective, a group of community-minded women artists have popped up in the closed Santander building in the run-up to Christmas to showcase their ceramics, homeware, jewellery, sculptures and woodwork, while also generating funds for charities which help women and children from underprivileged backgrounds. Go show your support!

LIGHTS: Rosemoor Glow, Rosemoor, Torrington, from Thurs 19 Nov – 19 Dec

Bring cheer to the gloom and doom! The perfect antidote to shorter and shorter days, Rosemoor’s gardens will once again be lit up with rich colour and lights.

CRAFT: MAKE: Contemporary Crafts for Christmas, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey, Sat 14 Nov – 10 Jan

Want to support the arts and buy someone specials a unique, handmade Xmas presents? Post-lockdown, hotfoot it to Bovey for jewellery, textiles, ceramics, art and more from fifty talented makers sourced from across the UK.

SCULPTURE: Amanda Popham Annual Solo Show, Marine House, Beer

Anyone who’d been hoping to see Amanda Popham’s uber-collectable 2020 collection at the Marine Gallery this November can still view it online or in the gallery window (lovely day-trip to Beer, maybe?). The gallery is taking phone calls and doing deliveries of any artwork ordered during lockdown and what hasn’t sold will be available to see from 2 December, Chris Whitty and co permitting.

NATURAL HISTORY: Claws! The Human History of Cats, Torquay Museum, until 2 Jan

Hello kitty! Take a look at the museum’s natural history collection through the prism of moggies, big and small, including a cat mummy from Ancient Egypt (who knew?) and the oldest lion remains in Britain.

CRAFT: Present Makers, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton

The annual Christmas exhibition and shopping fest which showcases a covetable array of craft from glass, wood, paper, textiles, prints, ceramics, furniture and jewellery may be closed but Xmas is not cancelled! The gallery has plans afoot to go digital for 2020. Watch this space for updates.

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