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Enjoy a slice of La Dolce Vita in Leek this autumn

Discover talented Leek-born artist Raymond Victor Mee's passion for the people and landscapes of Italy's Tuscan hills at an exhibition in his home town this month.

The Nicholson Museum and Art Gallery is playing host to this memorial exhibition - La Dolce Vita, One Man's Passion for the Magic of Tuscany - until 1 October.

Councillor Sybil Ralphs, Leader of the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and portfolio holder for arts and culture, opened the exhibition on Friday evening.

She said: "It was a real pleasure to open this exhibition which showcases the talents of one of Leek's sons who began his artistic journey right next door to the Nicholson at Leek School of Art.

"His passion for Italy and its people is clear to see through his work and although he is sadly no longer with us his creative genes  live on in his daughter Julia whose work is also being exhibited alongside her father's.

"We have a strong heritage of arts, crafts and creativity in the Moorlands and we're proud to be able to name the talented Mee family amongst the leading lights. I'm sure everyone who visits this exhibition will be struck by it - and may even leave with a yearning to visit the Italian vistas that inspired it."

Mr Mee was born in Leek in 1945 into an artistic family. After studying at the Leek School of Art he was appointed Head of Art and Design at a school in Felixstowe whilst at the same time exhibiting his own work at numerous galleries in Suffolk. By 1980 he was an established studio potter.

He returned to Staffordshire in 1986 to become Head of Art and Design at the City of Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College where he inspired a new generation of art students - including his daughter Julia.

His passion for Italy was sparked by a family camping holiday which led to his life-long love affair with the country which would become the inspiration for his later work.

The exhibition is open from 10am to 4pm every day except Sunday. Entry to the gallery is free. For more information please contact the Tourist Information Centre on 01538 483741.