Eccles Community Art Gallery will premiere the exhibition ‘Out of the Attic’ ito mark the gallery’s tenth birthday.
The ‘Out of the Attic’ exhibition will take place from 12 January 2019 and will feature work from local artists who have featured in the gallery over the past 10 years.
‘Out of the Attic’
The exhibition aims to showcase work from local artists who may have a special piece that was once forgotten about or left in an attic.
Gallery manager, Elaine McCann, is currently preparing for the 10 year anniversary exhibition by contacting local artists known to the gallery from the last decade and asking if they may be interested in displaying forgotten work as a retrospective on the last decade.
With around a dozen volunteers, the gallery holds regular meetings every six months.
The latest meeting saw a group discussion which led to the collective idea of how the gallery would celebrate its 10th birthday with this latest exhibition.
The reaction from local artists in the early days of preparation for the exhibition has been positive. Ms McCann said:
“It’s quite a nice feeling, and I like the idea that we will have a very diverse exhibition.”
The last decade at Eccles Community Art Gallery
The gallery was founded by local artist Karen Illingworth.
She was part of a local art club and needed a space to display the work. After approaching Eccles precinct she was then offered the gallery for two weeks for the club’s work to be mounted.
The gallery still sits in the same spot to this day, and 10 years later the precinct still offers the gallery free of charge to Elaine, the volunteers and the artists who preview their work.
The gallery is known for backing local artists. Ms McCann added: “It’s a place where local artists can hang their work for a very reasonable price, larger galleries don’t want to take unknown artists.
“It is free of charge for artists to display their work but in return they are expected to complete a Saturday shift in the gallery, giving them a chance to interact with visitors which helps them to sell their work.
“They get to know the people who come in, you sell your work better if you talk to people about it and lots and lots of them have become volunteers since.”
The gallery lies within the heart of the Eccles community, offering free workshops and classes with local people and organisations.
The gallery now work with schools within the community and allow pupils to visit the space and look at the work created by local artists.
“We’ve got two or three schools who now have exhibitions here and they come in and they come and look at the work and then they go away. One particular school go away and do the artwork based on what they’ve seen.”
With recent cuts to the arts in the education sector, the link between the gallery and local schools is a step in the right direction by inspiring children through the art the gallery displays.
A variety of artistic clubs now take place at the gallery and a number of local art clubs receive support as they are able to exhibit their work in the gallery space.
The gallery also hosts a yearly arts festival in Eccles Town Square, with previous years consisting of crafters, theatre and music.
The gallery space is not only used to display artwork by local artists, but as a community hub for organisations such as a local choir who use the gallery as a performance practice space.
“Eccles centre is quite good like that, theres an awful lot of stuff being done by voluntary organisations in Eccles that people ignore and its important that they see what people are doing instead of sitting at home and complaining, get out and do it is what I say.”
What’s next for the gallery?
The ‘Out of the Attic’ exhibition will be on display in early January 2019, marking the first exhibit of the new year for the gallery.
Volunteers at the gallery hope they can build on what has already been achieved in the future so they can enjoy a further 10 years of success.
Their are hopes to introduce new workshops, also bringing in new tutors who will host a variety of classes for the community.
Find Eccles Community Art Gallery on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest exhibits, and find out how to get involved.