New art bookshop opens in Norwich

An independent book shop and an arts education venue have teamed up to establish the Norwich's only dedicated art book store.

Called Hive Art and based at the Anteros Arts Foundation in Fye Bridge Street, the small space has been transformed into a miniature arts version of the city's popular The Book Hive in London Street.

Henry Layte, owner of The Book Hive, said Hive Art came about after he was approached by the art foundation, which recently took over the running of the Tudor building, formerly the King of Hearts arts centre. He said: 'We were always going to have a bigger art section in the shop and had thought about converting the top floor to an art section. But this seemed like a sensible idea. It will give us more space in the original shop to put other things in and Anteros attracts people who like art.

'There will be a focus on contemporary art books that you don't find in chain book shops. The stock will grow depending on what does better and what people want, and what the art students in the city want too. We've also got some really good staff working there who are very, very knowledgeable about art and customers will be able to talk to them and ask them about art books.'

The interior of Hive Art, which opens to the public today, has been designed by St Columb Interiors, which also did the original shop. The opening stock includes contemporary art, art history and theory, graphic novels and design, and a collection of greeting cards and posters from local artists.

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John Hemmant, director of the Anteros Arts Foundation, said the arts education centre had been doing well since it opened, particularly considering the economic climate, and the book store was another way of trying to bring in more people.

He said: 'I wanted to increase footfall to the arts centre and I loved what Henry was doing on London Street. He's very clever in the books that he buys as you often stumble across books that you wouldn't find anywhere else.'

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