A POP–up gallery is proving to be a great success at Festival Place.
All Our Own Work Gallery has opened for business at a unit previously used by clothes retailer Republic, between BHS and Topshop.
Open every day, it is curated by local artists Lee Baker, Bill Thorpe and Kev Munday, and showcases the work of 18 artists in the 5,242 sq ft unit.
“It was amazing. We were so busy and we sold quite a bit of work,” said Kev.
“We got very positive feedback from the public – from all sorts of people and all sorts of ages.”
It is the second time the pop-up gallery has opened in the busy shopping centre.
The first was in May at a vacant shop unit opposite the Sports Centre where 10 professional local artists were able to exhibit and sell their work.
“We are working with Festival Place to open galleries at all of their empty units for six weeks at a time,” explained Kev.
He added: “This is such a great opportunity. Festival Place has really embraced us.
“I think they saw how popular the first gallery was and now they have given us the best empty unit in the shopping centre.
“We’ll enjoy being here for six weeks, before we move to the next unit.
“There is something that should appeal to all tastes. We have a wide range of work, from street art and fine art to ceramics and we have furniture designed by Stuart Melrose too.”
Kev said All Our Own Work is not a traditional gallery as it does not take commission from work sold.
All of the sales go directly to the artists.
Kev struck a deal last year with Graham & Brown – the UK’s largest wallpaper manufacturer.
And now his multi-coloured design called Alien Crowd is on sale in over 70 countries and in shops such as Debenhams, B&Q, Homebase and House of Fraser.
Bill, who is also an accomplished artist, said: “Before this we thought Basingstoke didn’t have much of an art scene, but we’ve been proved wrong.”
This is shown by the fact that 76 people applied to be part of this latest gallery.
“We want to make a positive impact for the art scene in Basingstoke,” said Bill.
“And this really is a boost for local artists.
“We’ll keep it varied so it keeps people interested in coming in, as the work is forever changing.”
Festival Place centre director, Steven Connolly, said: “The All Our Own Work pop-up gallery is rewarding for everyone involved.
“Talented artists such as Kevin and his collective have a platform to showcase their work, and Festival Place customers are being exposed to new and exciting works of art with a home-grown touch.
“We are thrilled to welcome All Our Own Work into their new larger unit.”