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Why the Pier Lane Gallery in Arnside is a must visit for art lovers

PUBLISHED: 00:00 13 July 2017

Many of the works are by people who took part in the local art trail

Many of the works are by people who took part in the local art trail

Peter and Caren Trelfall

You don’t just buy works of art at this Arnside gallery - you can also see them being created, writes Roger Borrell

The estuary is a recurring theme in Peters work The estuary is a recurring theme in Peters work

THERE can’t be many galleries where you can watch the artist painting the picture, chat through the techniques used and then buy it on the spot.

That’s the unusual opportunity that art lovers have at The Pier Arts Centre in the lovely coastal community of Arnside, which links up with Silverdale each year to stage one of the north’s most famous art trails.

Painter Peter Threlfall and his wife, Caren, a textile artist, are regular exhibitors on the trail, setting up their work at the award-winning No 43 guest house on the promenade. ‘We often chatted to people on the trail about how we would like a permanent base so artists had a direct outlet for their work,’ said Peter, a Liverpudlian who met his wife at art college in Manchester 16 years ago.

‘By chance, the old library in Arnside became available and it’s such a brilliant space we decided to go for it. It has lots of light and lots of space which is perfect.’ Peter and Caren decided to team up with well-known local landscape photographer Trevor Brown and they opened the Pier Lane gallery at Easter. ‘The response has been fantastic. Local people didn’t want to see the building left empty and we are getting a lot of people through the door to see our work.’

Artists who took part in the trail are currently the main exhibitors at the gallery but Peter stresses that it is open to the wider art community and they welcome ceramicists and woodworkers as well as painters and photographers.

Peter became a full-time painter from necessity. He had been working for interior designers and architects creating artist’s impressions but the recession meant work dried up. ‘No one owes me a living so you just have to get on with it,’ he says.

Peter’s colourful coastal scenes have proved very popular. ‘It’s hard not to be inspired on this piece of coastline. It really is a gem’ he says. ‘There haven’t been any developers ruining the view and the sands are always changing.

‘And we are spoiled by the amazing sunsets here. The colours are really quite amazing – so much so that you have to be careful or people start accusing you of exaggerating!’

One thing that isn’t exaggerated at the gallery is the pricing policy. ‘Because the artists are selling direct to the public, people are surprised by the reasonable prices we charge.’

Trevor, Caren and Peter take it in turns to run the gallery, which is open daily from 10.30am to 4.30pm. ‘We bring our work here from our home studio in Yealand Redmayne,’ says Peter. ‘It means that people can watch us working and ask questions about the process.

‘Rather than that being a distratcion, it is actually an interesting process. And what could be more perfect that someone coming in, watching me paint a picture and them buying it on the spot!’

www.facebook.com/Pier-Lane-Gallery-220223591795149

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