Art gallery named as one of the best
Archant Norfolk © 2015
It may be situated in a quiet town but that hasn't stopped The Upstairs Gallery in Beccles from being named on a list for the best small art galleries in the UK.
Opened in 2007 by artist and lifecaster Michelle Payne, the gallery exhibits work by artists from Suffolk and Norfolk including paintings, sculptures and crafts.
High 50 - a global online community for people over 50 where there are articles on culture, beauty, food and health - included the gallery on its list of nine galleries, alongside The Strand Gallery in London and The Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham.
“I’m just chuffed to bits,” said Mrs Payne. “It’s good for everybody, the artist and the gallery. It’s bizarre but I love it and I’m ever so proud.”
The 43-year-old said she was told someone wanted to write an article about the gallery, which has 14 rooms of artwork and a shop selling art supplies, but that was the last she heard.
The article was written by the assistant editor of High 50, Lucy Handley.
“A lady tweeted me and said she’d like to come see the gallery and write an article,” said Mrs Payne, who has two children. “But when she came in she didn’t say who she was and then the next thing I know, we’re in the article for best small UK art galleries,
“It’s a really good thing and quite an achievement.”
The gallery currently has four volunteers who come from a variety of backgrounds but Mrs Payne said she would welcome more to enable the gallery to be open seven days a week.
She added: “I couldn’t do this without the volunteers help. We’re always busy here because it is a big tourist place.”
For more information about the gallery or for information on volunteering, visit http://www.theupstairsgallery.co.uk/