The team behind Banbury town centre’s popular Church Lane Art Gallery have taken another big step towards securing its longer-term future.
The 32-member Banbury Artists’ Co-operative, which runs the Gallery, have taken on a one-year licence to occupy the Church Lane unit, so extending its stay there until at least April 2019.
The Gallery first opened in February 2017 as part of the then Banbury Town Team’s Flashop pop up shop project. At that point there were just six artists involved.
Barry Whitehouse, owner of the art supplies and classes shop, The Artery on Parsons Street, Banbury, and a lead member of the Church Lane Art team, says: “It has been wonderful to see the gallery grow from strength to strength since its initial concept. Having such a wide variety of locally-produced fine art, along with an ever -growing amount of visitors, shows what a much-needed asset the gallery has become to Banbury town centre. The art community has embraced the idea of an artists’ cooperative, and it is fantastic to see so many working together for the benefit of the wider community.”
The Gallery displays a range of work by local artists including pottery, glassware, jewellery, handmade scarves, textile work, paintings and photography. It has monthly featured artist showcases with three or four of those involved exhibiting more of their work, promoted at popular Preview Nights on the last Friday of the preceding month.
The Gallery also played its part in the Banbury and villages’ phase of the high-profile countywide Oxfordshire Artweeks festival, with special events, including a pop up exhibition at the Flashop window display in the former Moss Bros unit on High Street, and is part of the Banbury BID pop up shop, The Creative Quarter, in the town’s Castle Quay shopping centre.
Neil Wild, a co-director of town centre specialists Flashop UK Ltd, who arranged the agreement with the Church Lane unit’s landlord and agent, says: “This is further evidence that pop up shops are a major tool for supporting our town centres. In this instance we are grateful for the support of Brown & Co and their client as the Gallery fully establishes itself.”
There’s more about the Gallery on FaceBook at Church Lane Gallery and on Twitter @ChurchLaneArt