Green Man Gallery is a year old

Sunday%20Buskstop%20Lucy%20and%20Alice%20%20DSC00519It’s a year since the Green Man Gallery in Buxton first opened its doors to the community as a creative hub for the region and the artists behind the co-operative have every reason to be celebrating.

November sees not only a birthday bash but also an exhibition by the resident artists and a special month-long show by a group of fell runners.

The programme of workshops is bulging and more and more people are looking to the venue as a place to stage their own events.

“There is so much going on here it really is quite exciting,” said photographer Caroline Small who is one of the group members.

Each of the artists who has joined the gallery helps with staffing duties to keep it open and Caroline is the person dealing with raising awareness about what is going on.

“It is all about accessibility and art for everyone at the Green Man. This is not the sort of place where people should think it is not for them. It is a friendly gallery – there is always something going on. We wanted people to be comfortable here and that is exactly what we have achieved,” explained Caroline.

“There is focus on visual art but it is not exclusively about that there are so many more things we do here.

“It is a real creative hub. It is a great space for events such as live music, poetry readings and even small-scale theatre, as well as the workshops and courses.

“What we really love is when someone comes in and suggests a new idea to us. If someone comes in and says ‘we would really like to do so and so,’ we are delighted. That’s what it is all about.”

The gallery was launched when businesswoman Julie Collins offered the artists the shop at Five Ways Corner in the town rent-free for a year.

“Her generosity allowed us to get off the ground and now a year on we have to prove we can stand on our own two feet. That means we have to be bringing in enough finance to now pay the rent, but we believe that is possible with the plans we have for the future and the feedback we have been receiving,” said Caroline.

The gallery is closed on Mondays to allow it to be hired out for private events and it is open late on Thursdays to encourage more art-lovers to browse after work. An artisans’ market is staged on the last Saturday of every month and there is also the Little Green Art Club for young artists.

One new initiative is a Friends of the Green Man Gallery group which gives those who subscribe £25 priority bookings and invitations to special events as well as some discounts on artists’ work.

“A lot of people are simply making donations as friends which is really great and very much appreciated. This is a project we hope to grow in the next year or so. It is early days yet,” said Caroline.

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