The Alex McGarry Studio and Art Gallery’s will be celebrating it’s two year anniversary in Andover Town Centre, we speak to Alex about how the first two years have been and where to next…
Alex McGarry opened the Alex McGarry Studio & Art Gallery, Waverley Buildings, Waterloo Court in September 2019.
How have the first two years been?
“Fantastic! 2019 was a whirlwind year for me – I was named Britain’s best ‘Up and Coming Artist of the Year’ and opened my own gallery!
Since opening, I have been blown away by the people of Andover and surrounding areas who come down to the studio and gallery to have a browse, leave such wonderful comments and purchase gifts and paintings – so thank you to everyone who has supported the gallery! It is truly wonderful to have such support and community interest.”
Why did you open a gallery in Andover?
“I am an Andover girl and have lived most of my life in Andover. So when an opportunity came up through the Andover BID, courtesy of a very kind start-up incentive from David and Christine Mellor of David Mellor Jewellers – I couldn’t resist!”
What is in the gallery to see?
“I primarily paint British wildlife and the gallery has my biggest collection of paintings, from small paintings of garden birds, to larger paintings of pigs, hares, foxes and more. Alongside my paintings the gallery has a range of gifts, such as cushions, mugs and notebooks etc. It also has a collection of paintings by my Father, Pip McGarry, who is recognised as the UK’s leading wildlife artist.”
And tell us about the studio area?
“The studio area of the gallery is in the window – I sit right in the window of the gallery and do all my painting there. So if you’re walking past you can see my latest paintings at various stages of being ‘finished’.”
How long have you been painting?
“A long time! When I was nine years old I begged my Dad to set me up with some oil paints and brushes so I could be a ‘proper artist’. He made me a little easel and gave me brushes and paints…I was off! I still have that very first painting of a baby deer.
“At sixteen I joined art societies, which gave me an outlet to exhibit – I sold my very first painting for £18 (and had to pay 30% commission to the exhibition!) I painted as a hobby and exhibited where I could for quite a few years, until about eight years ago when I went full time as an artist.”
Is the gallery the only place you sell your paintings?
“My studio and gallery holds my biggest collection of paintings, but I also sell in galleries right across the UK. I was signed by Demontfort Fine Art (the largest distributor of fine art prints and original art in the UK) in March 2020. I also have a website and use social media such as Facebook and Instagram to showcase and sell my latest paintings.”
Can people come in and browse?
“Yes – everyone is very welcome to come and look round! As I use the gallery as a studio and so there is always something new to see – even if it is in progress and not quite finished!”
Your Father, Pip Mcgarry is an artist too?
“Yes, Dad is recognised as the UK’s leading wildlife artist. He is artist in residence at Marwell Zoo, he has run the largest wildlife art society in Europe and had his own TV series hosted by Anika Rice, where he taught celebrities to paint.”
What is the plan for the next few years?
“With the fantastic support of Andover I hope to stay in Waterloo Court for as long as possible! I have lots of exciting plans – some of which will be released later this year. But the next thing is the launch of some new limited edition prints in the gallery and of course to celebrate being here for two years!!”
When are the two year celebrations?
“Saturday 2nd October from 10am to 4pm. Both myself and my Dad, Pip McGarry will be in the gallery and everyone is welcome to join us for a glass of fizz, some exclusive special offers and a chance to win one of the new limited edition prints!”
Alex McGarry Studio & Art Gallery
10 Waverley Buildings
Andover, SP10 1QJ