The Station in Richmond, one of the region’s most popular tourist attractions, has appointed its first ever paid Gallery Manager. The role has gone to Irene Lofthouse, a freelance ‘artpreneur’, who has taken over the running of The Station’s art gallery from Station trustee, Lou Holliday.
Lou Holliday had been worked on a voluntary basis overseeing exhibitions on The Station’s Mezzanine gallery and Lower Platform Gallery, but stepped down recently due to other commitments. Trustees decided that the demands of the role warranted a part-time paid manager responsible for taking the Gallery forward.
One of Irene Lofthouse’s first tasks has been to launch this year’s open art exhibition, ‘Another Spot on the Wall’. It follows on from the successful ‘Spot on the Wall’, held at The Station two years ago, and artists from across the UK have been invited to purchase ‘spots’ to display and sell their art for eight weeks from July 14th. Within days of the entry date being announced, all 150 spots were taken.
‘There is real potential for The Station to become proactive within the local arts community,’ said Irene Lofthouse. ‘The Station can play an integral part in developing and coordinating cultural events across the region. We are hosting two exhibitions on behalf of the Swaledale Festival for the first time this year, and will be running the book fair in the autumn as part of this year’s Books and Boots Festival. Beyond that, I am hoping to explore ways of taking the Gallery out into the community, incorporating adults and children, and possibly even combining art and film together.’
She has been involved with several Station community projects over the last two years, including running creative writing classes for adults and children’s activity workshops and was an active member of the team responsible for last year’s summer open art exhibition, ‘InVisible’. Her background is as a professional actress, scriptwriter and businesswoman, and she is a Trustee of Saltaire Inspired and the West Yorkshire arts development agency, FABRIC.