There is no doubt that the past year has been tough for physical retail outlets. Small, independent businesses, in particular, need our support, now that retail premises are opening up again. We need to ensure businesses that offer a unique shopping experience can not only keep trading, but start thriving, in our local communities.
Often, small businesses champion other small businesses by stocking their individual wares.
One such business is the Wild Art Gallery in Wickham, Hampshire. Its owner Sarah Featherstone is a talented artist herself, but also someone who supports other artists and designers, through providing space in her shop to showcase and sell their work.
While the Wild Art Gallery was shut because of the pandemic, Sarah was not idle. She has big plans and took the bold decision to expand the gallery’s footprint by taking over the retail unit next door.
This has created a larger area to display her own art, as well the work of 21 other artists and makers. She also has a great range of artists’ materials, including sketch books, brushes and paints. So if you are an artist, or would like to try your hand at being creative, you know you can pop in for your supplies and helpful advice.
Sarah also plans to run art workshops for up to six participants, once restrictions allow.
The Wild Art Gallery stocks a wonderful selection of highly detailed pictures inspired by the natural world. Sarah specialises in finely detailed artworks of animals and birds, mostly created in watercolour or pastels. You can buy a picture to frame yourself or choose something ready-framed to hang up straight away. Whether you want a print or an original artwork, there is sure to be something to suit you.
As well as wall art, Wild Art Gallery offers sculptures, homeware, greetings cards, stationery, jewellery, pottery and gifts. There is a variety of styles, including paintings, wickerwork, beading, ceramic mugs and hand-sculpted animal figures. Many of these are made locally by Hampshire artists and designers. This means you can find a special gift or artwork that you won’t see elsewhere.
Of course, there are some of my smaller stained glass items available in the Wild Art Gallery too! There is everything from fun Quirky Birds and owls to the new Flying Birds and Mystic Mushrooms. Sarah has a large and attractive wooden branch above the till, where you can see some of my light catchers hanging up.
The Wild Art Gallery is located in the Warwick Lane shopping arcade, in Wickham Square, Wickham, Hampshire PO17 5JN. Current opening hours are Monday-Friday 10am-4pm; Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday closed.
If you can’t get there in person at the moment, you can always find a good range of unique stained glass gifts and new stock in my website shop. Every day there is a different special offer in the Flash Sale section, so do check in there regularly to find a great deal.