Art gallery set to open in Fakenham town center


4:27 PM May 24, 2022

A Fakenham business owner is set to open a gallery in her store – and hopes it will increase footfall in the town.

Venetia Strangwayes-Booth, who runs Venetia’s wool store in Norwich Street, is set to unveil The Gallery Upstairs.

His first exhibition, entitled “Image and Object”, will open to the public on Monday July 4 and will last until September.

Owner of Venetia‚ÄövÑv¥s Yarn Shop on Norwich Street in Fakenham, Venetia Strangwayes-Booth.
– Credit: Aaron McMillan

This showcase will feature colorful and expressive paintings by Norfolk artist Carole Ann Grace, as well as contemporary ceramic sculptures by Michel Ducos.

While accepting that visiting a gallery may not be the first thing on people’s minds at the moment, Ms Strangwayes-Booth hopes to provide respite from the stresses of everyday life.

She said: “I don’t think it’s vitally important. I suspect many people right now are more concerned with the cost of living than feeding their souls.

“However, it’s always a good thing to have an outlet for the arts in an area. It allows creative people to meet and it boosts morale.

“I also believe, and hope, that it will increase attendance at Fakenham.”

A retired lecturer in art and design, Carole Ann Grace has works on display in galleries from the Outer Hebrides to Cornwall.

His paintings have been exhibited in galleries in Norfolk and elsewhere for almost 50 years.

Now based in both Rutland and Norfolk, she previously owned Snettisham Studio where she showed the work of Lincolnshire potter Michel Ducos, whose sculptures can be seen alongside her paintings.

Originally from France, Mr. Ducos’ conceptual sculptures are primarily made of stoneware paper clay and are sought after by avid collectors in his home country, the UK and North America.

Venetia's Yarn Shop on Norwich Street in Fakenham, stocks local Norfolk wool products.

Venetia’s Yarn Shop on Norwich Street in Fakenham stocks local Norfolk wool products.
– Credit: Aaron McMillan

Ms Strangwayes-Booth admitted she hadn’t originally planned to have a gallery at her business, which opened last year.

But, having seen her first floor as an ideal space, her artist sister nurtured the idea when she insisted it was the perfect place for a gallery.

With additional support from Ms Grace and Mr Ducos, Ms Strangwayes-Booth decided to take the plunge.

She added: “I suspect I’m doing a lot of extra work, so I’m nervous but excited at the same time.”


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