Francesca the first in gallery’s new series

Francesca Simpson with her painting, Ruined Chapel, Alnmouth, and Fiona Stanley outside the Bakehouse Gallery in Alnwick.
Francesca Simpson with her painting, Ruined Chapel, Alnmouth, and Fiona Stanley outside the Bakehouse Gallery in Alnwick.

A north Northumberland artist is set to become the first featured artist to exhibit at the Bakehouse Gallery and Gift Shop in Alnwick.

Since owner Fiona Stanley reopened the Gallery in July after teaming up with Samphire Bay business partners, Helen Holden and Julia Smith, the business has become very popular with visitors and locals alike.

It is now seeking to further its appeal by exhibiting the work of a series of selected, mostly northern artists, the first of which will be Francesca Simpson, from Hipsburn.

Particularly well-known in the local area, she became a full-time professional artist after winning the competition organised in conjunction with the Gazette in 2011 to find the poster image for the Alnmouth Arts Festival 2012.

Last week, we revealed the winner of this year’s competition for the 2014 festival – Katherine Renton – following a judging session which was hosted by the Bakehouse Gallery.

Fiona said: “We are all really pleased with the direction the business has taken since our relaunch and we believe that by featuring the work of artists like Francesca, our customers will find even more to delight them.”

Francesca said: “I am really excited about being the Bakehouse Gallery’s first featured artist and am looking forward to putting on my exhibition of new winter-themed coastal landscape paintings and selected prints.

“I am particularly happy to be exhibiting so close to home which has provided much of the inspiration for my paintings.”

The Gallery also now stocks a mix of affordable artwork, home-ware and crafts, including Northumbrian handmade gifts such as screen-printed wall art, cushions and stationery from Samphire Bay, through to fusion jewellery designed by Fiona Dane.

The Bakehouse Gallery and Gift Shop, located in Prudhoe Street, Alnwick, is open Thursday to Saturday from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

Customers can also enjoy a coffee and free Wifi.

The exhibition will open with a preview evening from 6pm until 9pm on Thursday, November 14, and thereafter until December 28.

For more information, visit www.thebakehousegallery.com, www.samphirebay.co.uk or www.francescasimpson.com