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Arty Advice Helps Nicola Get Gallery Going

Unique textiles, jewellery, glass and ceramics from Coventry and the Midlands have gone on show at a new gallery designed to showcase local talent.

The Gibbs Gallery has been opened by Nicola Haxell in the visitors’ centre next to Coventry Cathedral with the help of specialist advice from Coventry City Council.

Julie Goodwin-Jones, business advisor to enterprises working in the arts, helped Nicola write a business plan and get a start-up loan from the Prince's Trust.

Julie, recent winner of the Prince's Trust Unsung Hero Award, said:

"When Nicola came to me with the idea of opening her own gallery, I was very keen to help her. Coventry really needed a space where local people could show their work alongside some of the best artists and makers in the country.

“I am delighted that she has been able to achieve her dream.

“Coventry has a huge pool of creative talent and it is vital that we keep it here in the city.

“It is my job to help local people to set up in business and to offer practical help - like developing a new portfolio or pricing work and finding places to sell it. “

The Gibbs Gallery opened its doors earlier this summer, but was recently officially launched by the Lord Mayor of Coventry.

There is a variety of original craftwork on display including glass, textiles, jewellery, ceramics, prints and hand made cards.

Nicola said she is hoping to introduce lots of new work leading up to Christmas - and the displays are changed every month or so to ensure that there is always something different to see.

She added that she is already exhibiting new pieces of domestic ceramics, silverware and pewter. The gallery is open from 10am - 4pm every day excluding Sundays.

Nicola, who comes from Tile Hill, said:

"I'm really pleased with how things are going and hope that lots more local people will visit the gallery before Christmas.

“The support from Julie and the Prince's Trust was fantastic and it was free - they've provided some really sound advice and gave me the encouragement to believe that I could achieve my dream, plus lots of tips to keep me going.

“Visitors to the gallery said they have enjoyed seeing such a high standard of unusual and well made work."

More information about the Gibbs Gallery from Nicola on 024 7626 7006. Anyone in Coventry with a creative talent who needs specialist business advice can contact Julie for more information on 024 7683 1286.

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CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 6 Nov 00
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