Gem of an idea to keep gallery going
FOCAL POINT: Artistic duo take over exhibition centre while owner travels abroad
THE future of a gallery regarded as a centre of excellence for exhibitions of works by Kent artists has been secured.
Over the years artist Joel Arnstein has built up the reputation of the West End House Gallery in Smarden.
Fears that it would be lost when he decided to take time out to travel to South America have been halted because good friends and fellow artists Barbara Spens and Jane Johnson have agreed to take it over for a couple of years.
Both women have spent most of their lives in the Smarden area and when they heard Joel was going overseas they considered it essential that the gallery be retained as a focal point of community life.
Barbara’s background is in picture framing and Jane’s is in gems and she has worked in the jewellery trade for many years.
Now they have refurbished the gallery preparing for a grand opening show featuring work by Brian Oxley and Kaija Bulbrook from today (Thursday)
Jane said: “We will be showing mainly artists from the South East, with exhibitions throughout the year.
“At the same time, we will also carry a selection of ceramics, glass, jewellery, textiles and paintings and prints by other artists and aim to be the ideal gallery for both collectors and those looking for presents.”
The exhibition will run from Thursday to Sunday each week, between 10am and 5.30pm, until May 4.
Jane Johnson and Barbara Spens, who have taken over the West End House Gallery in Smarden while owner Joel Arnstein is working in South America