Issue 229
Winter 2023/2024


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Feb 24, 2024

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ArtWork Newspaper Issue 229
Winter 2023/2024 (6.85MB)

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ArtWORK


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Ten years for Portobello's Easel

LAST MONTH, the Velvet Easel Gallery, located on Portobello High Street, celebrated its tenth anniversary. Since opening its doors in 2013, the gallery has flourished and established itself within the growing art scene in Edinburgh and beyond, developing a reputation for its curated mixed exhibitions showcasing an eclectic range of modern art by local, Scottish and international artists.

Each exhibition offers a range of ceramics, sculpture, glass and jewellery. This contemporary gallery aims to present a programme of exhibitions throughout the year, including solo-shows and group exhibitions by emerging as well as established artists from all artistic backgrounds.

Jane Grant took over ownership of the gallery some three and a half years ago. She told ArtWork: "I was, and am, delighted to have taken over ownership of The Velvet Easel Gallery. During my 22 year career as an occupational therapist I have utilised art and creative activities as a therapeutic tool, and have always understood the importance of art and the creative process.

"The transition to gallery owner just after lockdown was interesting, enjoyable and challenging in equal measure! We are fortunate to have a very supportive customer base, and it was great to meet them during that difficult period.

"When I took over the gallery, I brought in a much larger range of more affordable/accessible glass, jewellery, gifts, ceramics etc. This was to help us through the Covid crisis, and I think it has served us well as we have a much larger footfall in the gallery, and lots of locals who have never previously set foot in the place as they felt it was out of their price range.

"Becoming a member of the Own Art Scheme in February 2022 was also part of our strategy to make original art and craft more accessible and affordable, whether it's a first time purchase or an addition to an expanding art collection, and has been well used by our customers, many purchasing their first piece of original art.

"Our customer base consists of a large number of local repeat customers, plus customers from all over Edinburgh, East Lothian, the rest of Scotland and the UK. Many of our customers come across us through our website, and we regularly ship paintings all around the world. We continue to support small makers and designers (all based in the UK) when we purchase stock items, and we constantly source new makers and items to keep our offering 'fresh' for those that shop with us regularly.

"We have a regular core group of artists that exhibit with us all year round. These include Garry Harper, Jackie Henderson, Ian Neill, Catriona Millar, Cherylene Dyer, Amanda Owenson, Alan Richmond, Amanda Phillips, Louise Marks (to name a few) Recent emerging artists inckude Morven Ferguson (a recent graduate) and Zuzanna Salamon (who has gone on to be selected for the Royal Academy exhibitions two summers in a row). "I really enjoy meeting the incredibly talented artists who exhibit with us, in addition to welcoming many new artists to the gallery. I am very lucky to be able to spend my days at work surrounded by so much amazing and inspiring artwork.

"The Velvet Easel Gallery forms part of a wide range of established independent businesses that make up Portobello High Street, helping to establish Portobello as a destination that offers something for everyone. The gallery is proud to sponsor local events including Artwalk Porty and Porty Pride, as well as our fundraising for St. Columba's Hospice through our annual Portobello Art Calendar. We select images of Portobello themed paintings that have been exhibited in the gallery during the year, and we donate £ 1 from each calendar to St. Columba's Hospice. The gallery has also sponsored an award for emerging artists through the Paisley Art Institute."

Jane concludes: "I'd like to thank all our talented artists, loyal customers, dedicated staff and the local community for their continued support which has helped us reach this happy milestone. And I'm looking forward to the next ten years!"

FRANCES ANDERSON
The Velvet Easel,
298 Portobello High St,
EH15 2AS
Tel: 0131 629 1121/07835 813689
www.velveteasel.co.uk



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