Bishop Auckland Art Gallery and Food Festival


A new Art Gallery opened yesterday in the Market Square, Bishop Auckland in County Durham. The building was opened with the cutting of a red ribbon by Rosemary Butler who spoke of her pleasure in the new venture, which is to be called The Pod, and who prayed for its success before performing the opening ceremony.  Mrs Butler has recently come to live in Bishop Auckland, with her husband the newly-appointed bishop of Durham.

cutting the ribbonRosemary Butler speech

The new gallery is situated in the market place, just opposite Bishop Auckland Town Hall:

Bishop Auckland Town Hall

It has a view, down the road, to the entrance to the castle:

Gate to Bishop Auckland Castle

And in the castle are the famous paintings by Zurburan of the tribes of Israel:


The new Bishop Auckland Art Gallery will host a pop-up exhibition from today (Friday 17 April 2015) until Sunday (19 April) and in the longer term will provide accommodation for start-up businesses in the Arts and Crafts. The current exhibition includes paintings by local artists and crafts including sculptures in natural wood forms, leather goods, paper-cutting, wire and enamelled jewellery, embroidered pictures, printed mugs, lampshades, dried hydrangea decorations and more besides. Amanda Jane Textiles is exhibiting!

Behind the stand are my ‘Sea and Sand’ double quilt and ‘Blue Mountains’ single quilt and on the tables, the ‘Quilter’s Bag’, ‘Christmas Tree Skirt’, ‘Pretty Pouches’, ‘Australian Animals’, ‘Rise and Shine’ ‘Stitcher’s Kit’ and the brand new ‘Hello Baby’ quilts in pink and in blue colourways, each stitched item with its own pattern. (All the patterns are also available in my shop – click here.) Each item needed to be viewed separately, together with its bundle of patterns, so I decided on a series of baskets for display. I looked out for picnic baskets in particular, because the  lid, which is attached to the basket at the side with a chain or cord remains upright when open, which is useful for supporting quilted fabric items.  The stack of patterns (each pattern wrapped in a cellophane envelope) was then inserted in the basket, next to the product.

quilt and pattterns

I did a mock-up of the stand at home, like this, to see how everything looked:

Craft stand at Bishop Auckland

The patterns needed more support, so that they wouldn’t curl inside the baskets, so I added a plain clipboard with a business card attached to the top, to support them. The final stall, in situ, looked like this:

Art display

Other things needed for a craft fair: money float (so you can give change), business cards, flyers for workshops, Artist’s statement, Price List, Inventory, Checklist to record sales (oh, and comfortable shoes!).

On Saturday 18 April and Sunday 19 April, the Bishop Auckland Food Festival is on. For more information about this, click here. See you there!

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