PICTURE GALLERY: Visitors to first art exhibition at North Walsham’s Atrium say it’s “better than the Forum”

Art, and the architecture in which it is displayed, is bowling over visitors to an inaugural exhibition at North Walsham's new �5.3m Atrium building.

Works by more than 70 north Norfolk and Broadland artists are on show over the bank holiday weekend at the first exhibition hosted by the community building, which adjoins North Walsham High School.

And Atrium community arts co-ordinator April Vogel said the event, named 'Artipasto', was introducing a new audience to the building who were 'bowled over' by what they found.

'People are saying it's actually better than the Forum in Norwich - they're gobsmacked,' said Ms Vogel.

'There is an incredible amount of natural light, it's spacious, very clean, fresh and contemporary - the perfect backdrop for art.'

The exhibition is one of the biggest Open Studios prelude events in the county, giving the public a preview of creations which will be on show in artists' homes and studios throughout Norfolk from May 26-June 10 as part of the annual Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

North Walsham landscape artist Richard Jex Waters is among those displaying his work. 'It's a wonderful space. Pictures and sculptures can be shown very well and people can get a distance from them, which is very important,' he said.

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Ms Vogel said there had been a steady footfall of visitors over the weekend and the preview evening had attracted at least 250 people. The exhibition continues tomorrow, bank holiday Monday May 7, 10am to 4pm, and refreshments will be available.

? Visit www.nwatrium.org for more information.

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