Art show opening after virtual event throughout lockdown

Sarah Easter Collins' Winter Sapling

Sarah Easter Collins' Winter Sapling - Credit: Archant

After a month in lockdown, the English Riviera Winter Open Exhibition at Artizan Collective Gallery is ready to welcome audiences again this Christmas.

Tarun Sharma's 70 years of waiting for help

Tarun Sharma's 70 years of waiting for help - Credit: Archant

Having been due to start on the first day of the national Lockdown, Artizan Collective’s annual winter show was beset with bad luck from the outset, but with the majority of this year’s 350-plus artworks having already been delivered to the venue, the Torbay gallery was determined to make the most of the imperfect situation.

So, on day one of compulsory retail closures, the exhibition was ready to go live online as an exciting, interactive, entirely virtual show and has been bringing audiences their art fix throughout the four weeks of isolation.

With detailed photographic galleries showing off every work in the venue, an e-commerce store with delivery and click and collect options available, and a feature rich VR tour, audiences could almost trick themselves into believing it was the real thing, and thousands have engaged with the diverse programme that’s been offered on Artizan Collective’s web and social media platforms.

Now though, as non-essential retail is set to have restrictions lifted, Artizan is preparing to show off this year’s collection to real world audiences for the first time, and is hoping the efforts made over the past month will have enticed audiences to make the effort to visit the real thing.

Julie Brandon, director of Artizan Collective, said: “We’re really pleased with the achievements of the virtual exhibition but nothing beats the real thing and we’re really hoping for strong audiences throughout December to give the artists the showing they deserve.

“It’s going to be odd launching over a month after we setup the exhibition, we’ve had a long time to live with this show and we’ve got to know it quite intimately as we’ve prepared online content, it’s going to be great to see people reacting to it for the first time.”

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To make up for lost time, the gallery will be operating extended opening hours for the rest of the year with seven-day weeks starting from 10am daily. They’ll also be holding exclusive bookable event appointments for the first week of restrictions being lifted which are bookable online at