Today we remember my Grandpa, Michael Aldrich – inventor, innovator and entrepreneur.
I have spent the past 4 months working on a community arts project – a collaboration between Balfour Primary School and the Aldrich Collection.
The Aldrich Collection was set up in 1995 by my grandparents, Michael and Sandy Aldrich. It now has over 800 pieces of art.
I was keen to be a part of the project because the Aldrich Collection was always meant to be in the community and inspire people. For many reasons, this hasn’t happened until now. It was important to me as unfortunately the arts are slowly being cut from schools. This is devastating for children and society, particularly for talented creatives who are not academic. There are many forms of intelligence and success, I hope our project highlighted this to the children of Balfour Primary School.
One of my favourite bits about the project was contacting the artists whose art forms part of the collection and hearing lovely things about my Grandpa.
“I am honoured to be involved in the collaboration between the Aldrich collection and the Balfour Primary School because I believe that the awareness of the visual arts should be fundamental to the education of children at an early age. This is something that the Aldrich family believe in and I admire the generous and enlightened way they have pioneered and created such an interesting and wide-ranging collection of artefacts.” – John Vernon Lord, Illustrater & Children’s books author
“Lovely to hear from you and thank you for getting in touch. I’m sorry to hear of your Michael’s passing, he was a very special man. I am so excited that you are taking up the mantle of the Aldrich Collection to which I am so proud to be a part of. I love the idea that the collection will be used to inspire children so I would be delighted to get involved. Michael and Sandy Aldrich hold a special place my heart, not only did they buy my work but they helped sponsor my artist residency in 2002/2003 to Japan which changed my life and art. Being involved in the arts for all of my life as an artist, gallery owner and curator I have realised there are very few people like Michael and Sandy who believe in the power of art to transform lives, heal, empower and inspire.” – Kellie Miller, Artist & Gallery Owner
“I hope I can help with your project, I really liked and respected Michael…A very lovely man, very sad to hear of his passing.” – Tanya Brett, Artist
Thank you for teaching me that nothing is impossible Grandpa; Know that the gang are out there making you proud.