A NORTH-EAST fine art gallery and champagne bar is celebrating its first month in business.

Outstanding Art, on North Road, Durham, opened its doors at the end of March to showcase the work of talented artists worldwide.

The gallery will soon host an exhibition of works by New York-based photographer Allison Harrell, known for her style of printing directly onto aluminium medium.

Allison Harrell’s work will launch on Thursday, May 16, with an exclusive private viewing, and will be followed by monthly exhibitions showcasing a variety of different artists from all over the world, including painter Carne Griffiths, photographer Ellie Hawkes, and sculptor Steve Fleetwood.

The spring programme will also include a solo show starting on May 30 by Jenny Schade, a Canadian artist based in Durham, who works primarily with traditional painting techniques, as well as in various other mediums.

Outstanding Art continues its theme of artistic creativity through to its champagne bar, stocking high-end bubbly, and carefully crafting an assortment of imaginative exotic cocktails.

The bar has already attracted its own share of praise, with one visitor proclaiming its signature Frangelico cocktail “out of this world”.

Owner, Ian Cowan, said: "It has always been my dream to open a contemporary art gallery in Durham City centre. Now we are here, and we’re so excited to share the events over the coming months.

“As a local boy, I see it as my mission to bring something a little different to Durham. We have our monthly exhibition calendar showcasing the works from artists across the globe, and we are also putting in place some fantastic events, from comedy nights, to an evening of jazz!”

As well as providing for art aficionados, the team at Outstanding Art are keen to have some fun too, and will be hosting a special evening for customers to enjoy this year’s Eurovision Song Contest on May 18.

The contest will be screened live from Israel, while customers can sing along, and enjoy drinks from the bar.

Mr Cowan added: “Eurovision is such great fun, and it’s even better when you can enjoy it with others, so we thought: why not hold a live screening?

“If you haven’t visited us at Outstanding Art yet, this is a great opportunity to see what’s on offer and taste the atmosphere. Dressing as your favourite singer isn’t required, but we’d certainly encourage it!"

The Northern Echo:

Outstanding Art, 76 North Road, Durham, DL1 4SQ


Tel: 01916 490 553