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NeST Gallery in Barnard Castle celebrates third anniversary
CHANGES have been introduced to the operation of a Teesdale art gallery which celebrated its third anniversary at the weekend.
The NeST Gallery, in Newgate, Barnard Castle, was set up by Barnard Castle Vision in 2010 and is housed in a converted car showroom.
As well as hosting exhibitions, artist workshops and other events, there is also a cafe which has been run by outside caterers on a contract basis.
The operator recently left to concentrate on other business in the town and gallery officials have decided to run the cafe themselves.
The NeST's Anne Allen explained that instead of going out to tender for another company to run the cafe, it was decided to operate it in-house with the income generated going towards the running costs of the whole building.
Ms Allen said: “We are trying to support other businesses through the cafe. We have got a partnership with Blagraves Restaurant on The Bank, and suppliers include Cross Lanes and The Moody Baker.”
The gallery's anniversary was celebrated with an event on Saturday when visitors and supporters had the chance to meet the 20 artists in residence.
Ms Allen said the gallery had built up a good reputation in its short history and there is a waiting list of artists wishing to use the NeST.
“Each artist gets their own 'mini gallery' space and can run workshops. The gallery desk is staffed by the artists themselves and once they are in, they stay as long as they want to.”
The gallery attracts about 24,000 visitors annually and last year featured the work of more than 100 artists.
Artist Olwen Williams, painter in residence at Eggleston Hall Gardens, said the NeST was an invaluable resource for the area's creative community.
“It is a place to meet other artists and to see the work that is being done around the dale.
“I am here at least once a week for a chat and to find out what is going on,” she said.
“It is also your first port of call when you are a new artist. It is also a really good exhibition spcae and can take very large canvasses.”
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