Open air gallery set to launch on Gloucester’s gate streets
A new project backed by Gloucester City Council and Gloucester BID is set to turn local shop windows into an open air gallery.
The Gate Streets Gallery, which launches on Friday, August 6, will feature work by Gloucester artist Russell Haines, who discovered painting after art therapy helped him through a period of ill health.
Russell who started painting after suffering a brain stem stroke at the age of 44 was commissioned to create the artworks for the project organised by Gloucester City Council.
The artworks will decorate the windows of ten empty shops on Gloucester’s gate streets and in the East Gate Shopping Centre, and will depict people who have played a part in the life of the city.
The project is also supported by the Cathedral Quarter High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) with Historic England, and the European Regional Development Fund.
It’s aimed at helping to revitalise the high street following the difficulties retailers suffered during the pandemic and to encourage more people into the city through cultural activities.
It hoped that it will encourage people to explore Gloucester and show how walkable the city is as well as supporting local retailers.
Councillor Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “We’re delighted to have such a talented artist helping us to give a new lift to the city centre. It’s been a tough time for retailers due to the pandemic and although we’re seeing a lot of interest in our shops at the moment with new ones opening weekly we also know the nature of the high street is also changing. People want their city centres to also be about recreation and culture not just shopping and the Gate Street Gallery we hope will give visitors something a bit different to enjoy as they rediscover our city centre.”
Artist Russell Haines, said: “It is a fantastic initiative by Gloucester City Council to brighten up our city centre in new and innovative ways. I am very excited to be able to contribute to this with some of my paintings adorning shop windows throughout the city. Covid has been particularly difficult for some of the retail and arts sector and we have to think of new ways to encourage people onto the high street so this project is an important step in encouraging people to re-visit the city centre."
A launch of the artworks is planned on Friday at 11am, August 6 at 32-34 Westgate Street.