Art 'revolution' and a new gallery needed in Gloucester
CALLS have been made for a permanent gallery for Gloucester's burgeoning art scene.
Artist Jackie John, who runs Sabre Art Studio-Gallery in Quedgeley, said the city was lacking in a dedicated gallery space.
She said: "We campaigned for one of the warehouses at The Docks to become a gallery but it didn't happen.
"They have some great exhibitions in the City Museum but it is all tucked away as an afterthought.
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"The gallery in the Guildhall is smaller than my own gallery. A permanent space would be wonderful as we have some incredibly talented artists here in the city."
Mrs John helped to co-ordinate an arts festival in 2007, which saw performers coming from London, and an art exhibition at Merchants Quay warehouse.
She said: "It was reasonably successful but the floods of 2007 didn't help. Merchants Quay was flooded and we had artists from Tewkesbury wading through water to try to salvage their art. It never really picked up after that. We have been licking our wounds for the past few years but now it is time to get back in the saddle."
The city has a growing reputation for graffiti art work, with artists such as Beastie and Flava brightening up the city with their work on free art Fridays. There is even talk of getting a graffiti festival up and running.
But Mrs John wants people to remember traditional art forms as well. Her own gallery, which she runs with fellow artist David Hughes, is one of Quedgeley's best kept secrets.
It is tucked away in an industrial-looking building in Sabre Close on the Green Farm Business Park. It opened its doors in 2005 and more than 200 artists exhibit work there.
"Back in 2005 we were both returning to art after doing other things and we realised that we worked with similar method. We decided we would work together.
"My husband gave us a small derelict flat above his business in Barton Street but he then moved the business to Quedgeley and we came here.
"There's nothing for artists in Gloucester so we try to provide a platform for local artists here."
Pat Jones, 65, from Abbeydale, said: "I do think it would be great if we could have some lovely art shops or a gallery in the city but it's whether there are the customers. Perhaps a landlord wouldn't mind letting out their empty shop for a small amount of rent while they try to get tenants in. That would brighten up the city."
But her daughter Stacey, 28, said: "I don't think people can afford proper art at the moment. It would be nice for tourists though."
The latest exhibition is of Quedgeley artist Andy Bill's 25 paintings of hot air balloons.
The exhibition will be launched at a private view on Tuesday, September 3 from 6pm until 9pm.