Finance

Cathedral Quarter gallery reopens after long 18 months


Cathedral Quarter gallery reopens after long 18 months

The owners of an independent gallery said it was good to be back on the high street again after being restricted to 18 months of online sales.

Wingates Gallery closed its branches in Leicester and Market Harborough when Covid first hit and has only now been able to open again.

The Loseby Lane branch near Leicester Cathedral has reopened with more than 130 pieces of original art on show by 32 artists.

Up until this month it had operated on an appointment-only basis for a few weeks, but is now trading as normal.

Husband and wife owners Andrew and Kathryn Cartwright bought the gallery in September 2019 but had to close after less than six months of trading because of the pandemic.

Mr Cartwright said: “When the lockdown was introduced, we had to close both galleries and then had to think creatively to survive.

“We took the gallery to our customers by having thousands of brochures printed and delivered.

“We staged drive-by viewings where people drove into our car park and stayed in their vehicles while we showed them works of art at the gallery front door.

“We also gave tours of the gallery on FaceTime and Zoom. It helped us survive and brought us closer to our customers.

“There is no doubt that we have learned a lot of lessons from the pandemic – it has made us stronger and better as a business.

“It is fantastic to be able to open our doors again and share two floors of original art with the people of Leicester and surrounding areas.

“We relaunched on Wednesday, September 1, and were delighted to welcome a steady stream of people into the gallery to see what we are all about.

“It was lovely to chat to our visitors. We had people who knew we were here and could not wait to get back once we had reopened and others who were coming in to see us for the first time.

“It is great to be back here as we already feel a part of this charming part of the city centre.

“We are just around the corner from the cathedral, a short walk from the Highcross Centre, and among a group of independent traders where everyone is very supportive of each other.”

Prices range from £180 to £1,500 and pieces have been selected by the couple.

Mr Cartwright said: “We want people to feel free to wander in and browse. Here we will not hover around customers to try to sell to them.

“Our team will assist when needed and ensure that when someone buys a piece of art it is right for them.”

The couple have owned the St Mary’s Road in Market Harborough since 2017, which has 340 paintings, sculpture, and ceramic pieces on sale from 49 artists.

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