Expansion sees gallery challenge for Norfolk’s biggest art space
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
An art gallery that opened last year has already expanded and now has a permanent artist in residence.
Norski Noo's in Dereham is run by Andy Sullivan and offers exhibition space to dozens of artists and crafters from the local area.
He also teamed up with picture framer Paul Sheffield to offer a framing and restoration service.
But after expanding into a neighbouring empty premises it is close to becoming the largest gallery in Norfolk.
'We must have 450 original pieces of artwork in the gallery now,' said Mr Sullivan.
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Now, fine artist and illustrator John Stevens, a former RAF wing commander whose painting hobby has turned into a full time occupation, has come on board to be the artist in residence.
Mr Stevens has exhibited his work all over Norfolk and with the Guild of Aviation Artists in London, as well as illustrating several books.
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But his art is not limited to aviation history although his military inspired work has incredible attention to detail.
'People like to see an artist putting the paint on the canvas,' he said. 'It brings it to life. I get asked to paint all sorts of things, from boats to houses and pets. You can never tell what people will want.'
Mr Stevens has a studio at home in Whinburgh but being in the centre of Dereham now gives him more opportunities for commissions.
'This gallery works really well becuase all the artists are mixed up on the walls and people have to look at them all individually to see what style they like,' he said. 'You don't know what's round the corner.'
He is keen to focus on Norfolk's history and transfer it to canvas. He has just completed a Pocahontas painting, and a Nelson inspired piece was sold before it was even finished.
The extra space also means the gallery can start art and craft workshops and lessons for those keen to learn from the experts.
And Mr Sullivan has been asked by the family of farmer and painter Joe Godderidge to sell a collection of his original paintings. Mr Godderidge, who lived at Stanfield, near Dereham, died at the age of 86 last year. An exhibition and sale of his artwork based on heavy horses and farming starts next month.
Find out more at www.norskinoosgallery.com.