A new art gallery has opened its doors in Wilmslow town centre today (Wednesday, 29th July).
Art My Treasure Gallery has opened at 11 Grove Street in the premises which was previously occupied by Northwest Fishmongers but has been vacant for 22 months.
Speaking about the art work on display, Dov Stein (Director and curator of Art My Treasure Gallery) said "There is quite a spread of styles and countries of origin and price ranges (something for every pocket, from £ 100 upwards ), and I am keeping a few pleasant and exciting surprises in reserve for later. The predominant styles are impressionist and expressionist, mostly oils, but also some fabric art."
Popular northern artists such as Geoffrey Key, Malcolm Croft, Olivia Pilling, Alan Knight and Emmanuel Levi will be well represented. Other well known artists include Isherwood, John Bellany, Jean Paul Surin and Peter Hurson.
Additionally, the gallery will boast the largest collection of works for sale by veteran French artist Isaac Besancon, whose masterpieces are in private collections worldwide, and host up-and-coming talented northern artists and some from further afield, such as Sarah Morley, Karl Effrick, Ania Pieniazek (London) and Yisroel Levi.
Dov added "I am always on the look-out for potential stars who will inspire me and the wider art collecting world, and whom I can support to go on and become tomorrow's shining lights and reward the confidence of early investors.
"The gallery welcomes further enquiries from other artists with interesting talent. We intend to work with some local schools and colleges in creative ways, to encourage budding artists and art appreciation.
"We also specialise in fabric art, and proudly present charming and heart-warming pieces by Caren Threlfall, Gilda Baron, Elizabeth Cottham and others."
Dov Stein, a practicing psychiatrist, is partly British, partly Irish, and partly French. He was born in England, brought up in Paris and studied medicine in Dublin where he lived for many years.
He commented "These cosmopolitan roots have led to a strong attraction for international art, and that is reflected in the gallery's art mix, as is my Jewish background. We have 3 floors of exhibition space. The top floor is reserved for our outstanding collection of art with a Jewish cultural flavour. I believe much of it also has universal appeal, in the same way that the work of Chagal and Tobiasse did."
Dov has been collecting northern and other art for quite a number of years and is also an artist himself, having started painting in 1992. A few of his pieces will be for sale in the gallery.
Speaking about why he decided to open a gallery, Dov told me "First and foremost, opening the gallery is a way of connecting passionately with like-minded people, sharing my love of art with others, furthering my own passion for investment in art and giving an outlet to other expressive aspects of my personality. It aims at achieving a holistic balance.
"Secondly, although I love psychiatry, as a doctor, there is a whole creative side to my personality that does not get expressed or shared."
He added "It is my dream to create in the gallery a warm welcoming ambiance, and a multi-sensorial experience where people can unwind and enjoy a heart warming and healing welcome and escape from their everyday stresses and worries, and be transported into a creative and re-energising inner space.
"I want visitors to feel at ease to enjoy a leisurely visit as often as they wish, with no pressure to buy. Their enjoyment will be my greatest reward."
Once he feels organised enough, Dov intends to also use the space for lunchtime and evening community events, musical performances and poetry readings.
Dov continued "I hope the combination of the attractive and complementary varieties of art offered by Wilmslow's two galleries (we have very different art mixes), Unicorn and Art My Treasure, as well as the local art festivals, will increase Wilmslow's reputation as a 'significant' artistic destination. Hopefully, these will act as a draw for art lovers from all over Manchester and Cheshire, to come and visit Wilmslow's many artistic and other leisure and retail attractions.
"I hope the gallery will also contribute positively to the enjoyable atmosphere and character of our lovely pedestrian street and town centre, help re-vitalize it and draw more business to the area."
Art My Treasure Gallery will initially be open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 10am to 1pm, Sundays from 11 am to 4pm and Thursdays from 2pm to 6pm. Closed Saturdays. Once staff have been appointed the gallery will be open for longer hours.