Directors of new Wirksworth art gallery confirm plans for opening exhibition

The directors of a new art gallery in Wirksworth have confirmed its official opening date following a successful fundraising campaign to transform the 18th century former town assembly room.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th November 2021, 4:00 pm

Artists based at the nearby Haarlem Mill will be officially opening the doors to the Haarlem gallery in the Red Lion Hotel for its inaugural exhibition, Gathering, from Sunday, November 28.

It comes after the team crowdfunded £500 to purchase exhibition lighting and audio-visual equipment, and a National Lottery project grant via Arts Council England.

Codirector Olivia Punnett said: “I’m beyond excited, after negotiating the pandemic, to finally open and welcome everyone to the gallery.

The Red Lion in Wirksworth is to house a pioneering new art gallery.

“We are neither a publicly nor privately funded organisation which is why we have had to raise some funds for the transformation, and we are incredibly thankful to those who have donated.”

Shoppers can get a sneak peek of the space this weekend, as it hosts a Christmas market full of unique, creative gifts.

The gallery will open at weekends throughout the year, and aims to demonstrate how contemporary art can be shown in non-traditional places and venues, with a particular focus on rural work.

Gathering will see ten Cornish artists explore the communal act of intimacy, taking visitors from prehistoric sites to folk rituals and rave music.

From left, gallery directors Catherine Rogers, Bev Shephard and Olivia Punnet.

Olivia said: “We want to encourage visitors from outside of Derbyshire to find out about Haarlem Artspace’s creative community and of course to visit Wirksworth.”

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