#shopAndover Andover BID Business News

Picture perfect business celebrates 3 years

Local artist Alex McGarry celebrated 3 years in business at her art gallery on Waterloo court on Saturday.

The event was well received with many people coming to help celebrate a great local artist and her success in the town. There was a prize up for grabs and Gill Gregory won an original Alex McGarry painting, (the bluetit painting they are holding). Alex McGarry ran a free prize in the lead up to the 3 year event to win that painting.

In September 2019 Andover BID and David Mellor Jewellers partnered up to offer an exceptional opportunity for a business to open in Andover Town Centre. It entailed a rent-free period at the beginning of a lease of the former David Mellor Jewellers shop in Waterloo Court. The opportunity was snapped up by artist Alex McGarry.

Alex McGarry is a professional, award-winning wildlife artist who specialises in oil paintings of British Wildlife and Birds. In 2019 Alex was awarded the prestigious title of Britain’s Best ‘Up and Coming Artist of the Year’ by the Fine Art Trade Guild. Several of her paintings have been published into limited edition prints and she is represented by the UK’s largest distributor of original art and fine art prints – De Montfort Fine Art. Her paintings are found in galleries across the UK, including on board luxury cruise ships such as the Queen Mary II.  

Alex shared: “This rent-free period was absolutely crucial in allowing me to set up a studio and art gallery. It gave me the breathing space to build up a following within the town centre and ‘get the ball rolling’. Without this opportunity my gallery simply wouldn’t be a reality. I am extremely grateful to both Andover BID and to David and Christine of David Mellor Jewellers.”

Prior to September 2019 Alex painted at home in a studio that was not open to the public and had done so for the past eight years. Whilst happy being a full-time artist, Alex had always dreamt of having her own gallery, open to the public. Three years on, Alex’s gallery is continuing to flourish and build year on year.  

 Andover BID continues to support Alex and all the wonderful businesses in Andover Town Centre; from running events, engaging Town Rangers, marketing campaigns, supporting individual events with live social media videos, offering grants for shop front improvements – to name but a few!  

Steve Godwin, BID Manager shared “We are proud to have been part of Alex McGarry’s success and to offer ongoing support. We are passionate about Andover Town Centre; Andover BID is there to encourage and support any business with a vision to succeed and develop in the town. We have many established and new independent businesses and are encouraging more to come to the town. It is easy to look around at bigger towns and cities, believing that they have something that we don’t, which although may be partly true in terms of cathedrals and large retail centres, but Andover has so many other benefits.

It is convenient and accessible and provides opportunities for entrepreneurial people who want to succeed. Our car parking is still only for 3 hours, and we have plenty of it, all within an easy walk of the centre. People can come by car or train, and our bus station is in the town centre with the train station, just 10-minute walk. Alex McGarry has worked hard to develop the business, she is a wonderful addition to the town, and we wish her ongoing success.”