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Art lover set to realise dream of opening a gallery at Mercia Marina

A South Derbyshire businesswoman is set to realise her dream of opening an art gallery in the new £3m landmark Piazza building at Mercia Marina.

Maxine Walker had previously managed a gallery for eight years before making the life-changing decision that she wanted to run her own business.

After walking her dog for many years around Mercia Marina, in Findern Lane, Willington, Maxine decided it would be the ideal location for her own gallery, with its picturesque surroundings and being close to the home she shares with her husband Nigel in Barton-under-Needwood.

The Bluebird Gallery will be on the ground floor of the new building, facing the water, and at 1,248 square feet it is the second largest retail unit in the Piazza after the restaurant.

She said: “I used to love walking my dog along the marina. I just think it’s a fabulous site and that it would be an ideal setting for a gallery. When I called the marina there were no units available in the Boardwalk building but there was a possibility of one being available in the new Piazza building.

“I just knew 100 per cent that this would work. We had been looking for somewhere for a while but everywhere was tied up and we would have had to move out of the area. This is perfect because it’s right on our doorstep. When we secured the unit we were elated, it was fantastic news.”

Maxine has been busy planning the gallery’s décor and the different artworks she would like to have on display.

She said: “We are planning to have an extensive portfolio and we will be independent. We will have prices to suit all denominations and a range of genres including oil paintings, pencil sketches, glasswork, sculptures, landscape paintings and abstract.

 “We’ve got lots of exciting plans for the gallery. I’m busy sorting the technical aspects out, meeting publishers and planning how the gallery will look; there will be lots of clean lines. We are planning to hold events where we will have a featured artist in attendance.”

The gallery is set to open in spring 2018 and for Maxine it will be the culmination of a hectic two years.

She said: “Nigel and I met 18 months ago when I sold him some paintings and we got married in the summer last year and now I’m set to open my own art gallery it’s safe to say the last two years have been a bit of a whirlwind.”


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