Three years today Gallery at 12 opened it's doors to the public for the very first time, It had taken three months of planning to get to that stage and we had no idea if we would last three months, let alone three years, so it is a massive achievement for us to have got this far!
I would like to share with you my personal view on our journey to this point.
The seeds for Gallery at 12 were sown around 6 years ago, when a group of artists including Bob Thacker and myself got together with the idea of taking Staffordshire art out to the County. It never got off the ground, apart from a couple of shows at one small village festival, the seeds then lay dormant for a couple of years. Then three years ago last January or February I was listening to Radio 2 when the Jeremy Vine show started up, he was talking about a group of artists who had got together and had started to use a shop on Dursley High Street to showcase their work, I was only half listening but I began to realise as the show continued that these artists were doing something we had been talking about doing two or three years earlier, so I had resolved to phone Bob later to discuss things with him. On my way home, however, I had to stop off at our local bakery and who should be in there but Bob and his wife, I have to say this was not expected as Bob doesn't live in the same village as me and it is the first and only time I have ever met him in the bakery!
Their reaction to seeing me took me by surprise, I was greeted with 'Hello - we've just been talking about you!'
I laughed and replied by saying 'you've been listening to Jeremy Vine'
Bob then replied 'Not only that but as a result we have been to Eccleshall and found a shop - would you be interested?
Well what could I say.
and the rest as they say is history -
The Staffordshire Artists Cooperative was formed and we managed to raise interest with several artists, some stayed, some decided that it was too much of a commitment either financially or time. but by the time the Gallery was ready for opening we were seven in number, excited for the future and at the same time slightly anxious about what would happen over the next few months.
Over the last three years 3 of the original 7 members have left for legitimate reasons but even more new artists have joined us.
Yesterday we held a celebratory Open day aimed mainly at potential new artists and hopefully as a result we will see some more artists join us in the next few weeks or months, the future is looking good.
Happy Birthday Gallery at 12
If you are an artist living in Staffordshire or local to Eccleshall and would also like to consider joining us or exhibiting with us, please pop in, have a look around and talk to the member manning the gallery, we would love to meet you:)