Pop-up shop offers art opportunities

Helen Senogles pictured in her pop-up shop Made in Northampton, St Giles Street.
Helen Senogles pictured in her pop-up shop Made in Northampton, St Giles Street.

It has been three months since a ‘pop-up shop’ was established to showcase all that is great and good about the countywide arts and craft scene.

And now, Made in Northamptonshire, which can be found in St Giles Street, Northampton, is hoping to take on still more local artists and set up some new workshops to help get more people involved in crafts.

Helen Senogles, who oversees the project, explained: “We opened two weeks before Christmas and we have the lease for nine months. It is a showcase for all local artists, designers and crafts people.”

The project has been supported by a range of groups, including Creative Northants, the Business Improvement District (BID), The University of Northampton and the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership.

Helen said: “Creative Northants put out an advert two weeks before Christmas and we have had more than 200 artists and designers already. We took that down to 40 for the first month and since then we have taken on more artists from across the county – Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby – and they have all sorts of skills, from contemporary to traditional. There are so many different artists and so many different people producing things in the county.”

She added: “We had an amazing Christmas and smashed every target and, now we are growing to accommodate different targets, we are holding drop-in sessions with Creative Northants. We have until August and then we will have to see how the project develops from there.”

The shop is made up of a gallery space upstairs (currently being used by the Youth Arts Collective) and a shop area downstairs, showcasing the work of local artists and craft makers.

Work displayed in the shop is selected by a panel and the chosen artists pay a commission rate on sales, but are not charged for putting their work on display.

Helen said: “It is a way artists can get into the commercial market without having to pay for a shop. A lot of artists don’t have enough stock to fill a whole shop and many are one-off bespoke pieces.”

Artists featured include Penny German, from Towcester, who produces an oil painting a day, and paper artist, Phiona Richards, from Corby, whose work has been featured by TV presenter, Kirstie Allsopp, on Kirstie’s Handmade Britain.

To find out more about Made in Northamptonshire and forthcoming workshops and drop-in sessions, email madeinnorthamptonshire@gmail.com