This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
FOCUS: Art of the Village by Anna Wilson-Patterson of www.artshut.com


Our Gallery had been open just a few days when a customer said, “The people who had this shop before you used to organise the village Christmas Extravaganza”. Later, I digested this nugget of information and made discreet enquiries. Neighbours wistfully recalled a high street parade with floats, fancy dress, a hot chestnut stall and brass band. To organise an event of this kind would involve road closures, first aid and an army of stewards. I was less than keen.


Opening an art gallery in a small rural village in Sussex had raised eyebrows. Having lost their butcher and greengrocer to the supermarkets in nearby towns, villagers were pleased to see our empty premises renovated, but felt we would struggle to attract


18 | ukhandmade | Winter 2010


enough customers to make a viable business. Our art for sale initially included life drawings, causing our builder to seek reassurance that we wouldn’t be putting paintings of “naked ladies” in our window. We laughed and teased him that all our nudes were male. Alerted to local people’s expectations I made a list of customer preferences, mostly animal subjects. Arts Hut got off to a flying start combining dramatic life size cattle and poultry portraits with linocut hares, ceramic hounds, aprons and stained glass suitable for a country home.


Given the friendliness and support from the locals, I decided to pick- up the gauntlet of co-ordinating a festive celebration after all. With a background in organising large


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