Launch of a new art gallery in the Derbyshire Dales hotel

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The Red Lion Hotel in Wirksworth is home to the new Haarlem Gallery (photo: Will Slater).
The Red Lion Hotel in Wirksworth is home to the new Haarlem Gallery (photo: Will Slater).

Haarlem Artspace is launching its non-profit business at the Red Lion Hotel by opening an exhibition to the public on November 26, 2021. The gallery will officially open to the public on November 28.

The first ‘Gathering’ exhibit at the Haarlem Gallery will take visitors from prehistoric sites to folk rituals and rave music as ten rural Cornish artists explore the act of communal intimacy. This is the first in a series of exhibitions scheduled for the gallery throughout the year and open to the public on weekends.

Co-director Olivia Punnett said: “I am more than delighted, after negotiating the pandemic, to finally open the doors and welcome everyone to the new gallery.”

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Catherine Rogers, Bev Sheppard and Olivia Punnett, co-directors of Haarlem Artspace.

The Haarlem team launched a GoFundMe appeal which raised £ 500 to purchase equipment such as exhibition lighting, a projector and sound equipment.

Olivia said: “We were fortunate to be supported by a National Lottery Project Grant from the Arts Council of England, but we are neither a publicly nor privately funded organization, which is why we had to raise funds for the transformation, and we are incredibly grateful to those who donated.

“Fortunately, we have a fabulous team of volunteers at Haarlem Artspace to keep us going. “

Olivia said the Haarlem Gallery’s annual program was going to be ambitious and added: “We want to encourage visitors from outside Derbyshire to experience the creative community of Haarlem Artspace and of course to visit the beautiful historic town of Wirksworth.

Haarlem Artspace, based at Haarlem Mill on Derby Road, Wirksworth, champions contemporary rural art at home and abroad, through online exhibitions, residencies, conferences and events. The organization prides itself on being a space for artists, cultural workers, curators, educators, freelancers, manufacturers, producers, writers, art and culture enthusiasts to work in its studios in a building that was once the world’s first coal mill.

Haarlem Mill was a possible setting for George Eliot’s book, The Mill on the Floss.


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