Wirksworth arts company launches crowdfunding campaign for new gallery opening soon

A Wirksworth arts business has launched a £3,000 crowdfunding campaign to set up a bold new gallery in the town.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 4:40 pm

The community interest company which runs the Haarlem Artspace studio complex is looking to transform an 18th century town assembly room at the Red Lion Hotel into a space for showcasing work by some of the country’s best emerging artists.

Co-director Olivia Penrose Punnett said: “Like Haarlem Artspace, the new gallery will champion rural contemporary art and is for our local community, as well as visitors from further afield.

“We have an ambitious annual programme planned to encourage a broad audience to find out about our fantastic creative community and visit the stunning historic town of Wirksworth, which sits in a truly inspiring landscape.”

The Red Lion Hotel in Wirksworth.

The original Haarlem Mill gallery, which opened in 2016 , has pro ved so successful that it has outgrown the facilities.

Funds raised through the GoFundMe campaign will be used to kit out the new space with essentials such as exhibition lighting, UV blinds, and audio-visual equipment.

The new venue is due to open on Friday, November 26, with an evening private view ‘Gathering’, a group show of artists from the Cornish countryside focusing on communal acts of intimacy between people, sites and materials, connecting communities with their rural landscape.

It will be the first of a series of stimulating exhibitions that have been programmed throughout the year, opening to the public on weekends and hopefully attracting more tourists to the town.

Haarlem Artspace co-director Olivia Penrose Punnett.

The new gallery will bring an extra dimension to the site, which is already home to the Feather Star Ale House and Umami restaurant .

Bev Shephard, also a co-director at Haarlem, said: “This new space will be an extension of our Haarlem Mill venue, and as it is a larger gallery space, we’ll have scope to bring some incredible artwork of considerable scale to Wirksworth.

“We really want Haarlem Artspace Gallery to be at the heart of our local community and as we become established we'll be running events and classes too, and we'll be able to offer something to the public year-round, as well as at the annual Wirksworth Festival.”

To make a donation to the campaign, go to https://bit.ly/3Dgpj7V.

How the new gallery could look once it opens.

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