Blog: 2019 Highlights
We kick-started 2019 with renovations to the gallery and a plan to incorporate a front entrance at street level to more easily accommodate our customers and visitors. It was mind blowing to see the stages of development and how the area was transformed into a fresh, contemporary open space whilst retaining the original character of the building; and also exposing some of its previously hidden features!
One of our front windows was replaced with a new front door and an oak staircase was built to create a more spacious area for access into the cavern gallery; this also revealed an archway which forms the cavern which was a very exciting find. A glass balustrade was fitted which allows a clear view from the street into the different parts of the gallery - often people are surprised at how large it is once they step inside!
We also adapted the walls in the cavern to create extra space for art to be hung. A work in progress, we have just a few finishing touches to do and then the vision will be complete!
Introduction of Workshops
The chance to unlock your creativity!
For the Autumn season we saw a brand-new venture at the gallery with the introduction of creative classes and workshops. We hosted some fantastic, fun evenings; with the ‘Paint & Prosecco’ workshops proving particularly popular!
The programme of creative sessions for the Spring/Summer 2020 is currently in development and further information on this will follow in the ‘What’s On’ section of our website.
International Portraiture Art
Keen to introduce a variety of contemporary portraiture work to the gallery, we welcomed the artwork of three international artists, all of which focus on large-scale monumental pieces.
Puritat Deangharm presents powerful portraiture with a distinct urban, pulp fiction edge. Influenced by how pop-culture merged with high-art in the 1960’s, Puritat creates mixed-media paintings combining block-printing and collaged comics which form the layer on which he then paints a large, striking portrait.
Award-winning Thai painter and sculptor Vichit Nongnual creates evocative portraits in which he applies a high level of decorative patterning inspired by Chinese ceramics. The paintings are intriguing with layers of symbols and atmospheric elements such as clouds passing with a translucency over the features of the central portrait. Suggestive of revealing the inner workings of the mind, Vichit presents very thought-provoking pieces.
Paitoon Jumee’s paintings are often created with symmetry, the sitter being forward-facing, looking either directly ahead or with eyes cast downward. The sense of harmony and balance suggests the influence of Buddhist art and culture. Paitoon brings these portraits into the contemporary sphere with his use of bold mono colour palettes and the superposition of repetitive patterning to create layers which form the image.
We also introduced the artwork of two artists local to our area. The original mixed-media rural scenes from Louise O'Hara and the dramatic landscape oil paintings from Harry Brioche.
Harry moved from the Seychelles to Britain in the 1980's and subsequently became captivated by the dramatic skies he found here. The complete opposite of the clear, bright blue skies of the Seychelles, the everchanging light and atmosphere was a huge inspiration. Harry studies the landscape around him in Cheshire and North Wales creating beautifully timeless oil paintings that focus on that interplay of light and shadow.
We introduced the limited editions of Louise O'Hara's work the previous year and having been very popular, as we expected, we decided to introduce her original mixed-media pieces to the gallery. Based in Cheshire, she is inspired by those familiar rural scenes of different areas across the country and the variety of textures found in those environments. Using a combination of fabric, stitching, collaged paper and paint, she creates highly tactile and detailed pieces of work which are skillfully executed.
Customer Service Award 2019
We were extremely proud to receive the award for ‘Best Independent Retailer’ in the annual CH1ChesterBID Customer Service Awards - for the second year in a row!
We pride ourselves on giving quality customer service and as a small business, it is fantastic to be recognised for that. Our friendly, loyal customers make our job easy; it is a pleasure to welcome people into the gallery to assist them in choosing a piece of artwork that they will treasure.
TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
We were awarded the Certificate of Excellence which businesses achieve through receiving consistently great reviews over the year. It is very rewarding for us to know that our customers value the service we provide and we appreciate the time that people have taken to write their reviews on Tripadvisor. Thank you!
Coming Up for 2020...
We have plenty to look forward to at the gallery this year including 'meet the artist' exhibitions, paint parties, a seperate urban art gallery within the building, the introduction of new artists and the introduction of a customer reward scheme.
Have a happy 2020!