Last week I visited Hartlepool Art Club’s exhibition in the Art Gallery in Christ Church.
The exhibition is good, with many different styles of painting and drawing.
However, I was disappointed by the initial view as you walk in the door- it looks empty.
In previous years there has been a really good selection of arts and crafts set out in the middle of the gallery space.
This year there are a few pieces of glassware.
In previous years I have done much of my Christmas shopping at this exhibition, buying ceramics, woodwork and textiles.
This year there was nothing of this variety at all.
This begs the question, why?
Is there a dearth of artists and craftspeople in the area, which I doubt, or has there been a change of policy?
If this is the case, there needs to be a rethink.
At the moment the impression visitors get is of emptiness.
Most of the pictures are hidden away in the transepts.
Even the Buddha and the Samurai armour are not there any more.
If I hadn’t gone specifically to see the exhibition I might have turned around and left, thinking the space was in the process of being set up.
The high spot for the casual visitor is The Vestry, the café run by Catcote Academy.
Let’s hope that next year their customers will have something more to look at and spend their money on.