Looking To The Future
As the next generation to take over the family-run Longridge Gallery, Nick Smith and fiancée Sophie Hart are looking forward to introducing new artists and working alongside other businesses within the community. Photography: Kirsten Platt
In their first month at Longridge Gallery Nick Smith and fiancée Sophie Hart have been warmly welcomed to the town by customers old and new as well as local high street businesses.
“It’s been great,” says an enthusiastic Nick, who is the next generation to join the family business owned by Alistair Sheret since 2000 and his wife Caroline.
“Customers and other businesses on Berry Lane have been hugely supportive so we are really looking forward to the months ahead. We have received a really warm welcome and we are delighted to be part of the Longridge community.”
Longridge Gallery has always exhibited work from the UK’s most collectible artists alongside local favourites and the very best up and coming young talent, all of which makes the gallery a focal point for the region’s art lovers.
Nick and Sophie are hoping to keep the essence of the gallery the same, while introducing new artists and innovative projects. Currently artist Hamish Herd is featuring at the gallery. South African born, Herd is now based in Yorkshire, where he shares a creative studio with his wife. He produces beautifully soft sweeping landscapes inspired by his lifelong passion for painting.
“We have previously featured Hamish here at the gallery and we are delighted to bring his work back. The response to his previous paintings was phenomenal. There was a lot of interest in them,” adds Nick, whose vision is to continue working with first class artists, displaying paintings and limited edition prints in a variety of styles and mediums, as well as providing the quality in-house framing and restoration service for which the gallery is already renowned.
Looking to the future, the couple are set to immerse themselves in the Longridge community and culture, and Nick is hoping to drive the business forward on both the art sales and framing sides.
“We will definitely be looking to grow the business and our customer base. One of the ways we can do this is by using social media to let people know about upcoming projects and artists that will be featured at Longridge Gallery. We get a great response already to our posts and we hope to improve on this further.”
Longridge Gallery has long been associated with community projects including Create Longridge, of which the gallery was a founder back in 2016. “We will definitely be looking to continue our support for local events and community projects,” adds Nick. “We will also be introducing new artists to the gallery, which is always exciting – and we are very much looking forward to the next chapter for Longridge Gallery.”
78 Berry Lane, Longridge, Preston PR3 3WH