We hope that you are well and have enjoyed the festive spirit!
With the coming of the New Year, we thought it was only right that we look back at everything that has happened this year before our 2019 calendar is officially released tomorrow… it’s a long one but it’s full of fantastic things that have happened!
Winter to Spring:
For us, the start of 2018 saw us launch a brand-new website (the one you’re seeing now!) and an upgrade of sorts to our social media pages and advertising.
Some of you may have noticed we now trade collectively as The Sheep Shed Gallery and Tearoom – as opposed to Ewe and I and the Sheep Shed Gallery separately! We are still the same team, location and still have Sue as our owner – we just decided it was time to advertise and work as one business which has been a great decision for us.
All that happened alongside a good lick of paint to the walls in both the Tearoom and the Gallery thanks to one of our artists Ken Rich!
We also started our year off with the opening of our Nature-themed Charity Art Exhibition in aid of Andover Trees United – an exhibition which saw us raise just over £470 for a brilliant local Charity.
Throughout the first few months of the year, we had the pleasure of hosting three open exhibitions across three different media: Printmaking, Textiles and Photography. They were fantastic exhibitions which showcased the work of a large number of artists from across the South of England. We were so grateful to everyone who took part and are looking forward to hosting some more in 2019!
As many of you will already know, we were sadly the victim of burglary over the Easter weekend in 2018. We were very lucky that none of our artists’ work was damaged or stolen – they simply made off with our Gallery computer, some cash and did some damage to our door.
We were so grateful that we were in a position to return to trading as quickly as we did, and that we had such fantastic support from the Just a Card community online. Just a Card is a fantastic campaign that works to spread the message of just how important every sale is to a business, no matter how small. The fact that sometimes, even the sale of ‘Just a Card’ can truly be make-or-break for a business. The community rallied around to support our business and our team of staff and we cannot thank them enough for it!
In June, we hosted our first artist giveaway thanks to Sarah Maddison who gave us an embroidered notebook for one of our lucky customers/followers.
Visitors to Sarah’s exhibition were able to enter the giveaway either in-person at the Gallery, or through social media. It was great to be able to offer a giveaway like this and we hope to be able to host some more in 2019!
July saw us fundraising for Breast Cancer Care with our Charity Raffle event. We wanted to raise money for a national charity that cares for so many women and their families through incredibly tough and daunting times in their lives and so we chose to partake in their Afternoon Tea month.
We are so lucky to have so many fantastic artists and contacts who were willing to donate prizes to our raffle. The goodies included pieces created by our artists, tickets donated by the local Weyhill Electronic Organ Society, an hour’s session with Christine Dodd and with the main prize being Afternoon Tea for Four here at the Tearoom.
It was a fantastic afternoon and we managed to raise £300 for the Charity through the sales of raffle tickets and a lot of fun was had by all!
We followed our Afternoon Tea fundraising by entering into the Enham Trust Bake Off! In the first weeks of September we offered our delicious Victoria Sponge (with Fresh Cream and Strawberries) in aid of Enham Trust.
Over two weeks, we managed to raise a total of £60 for the Charity which will go towards enabling disabled individuals to live their life without fear of their disability, giving them housing and employment help and just generally help them to live a life focused on everything that they can do.
September was generally an amazing month for us because we were awarded the ‘Doing Business Locally’ award at 2018’s Test Valley Business Awards!!
We were shocked earlier in the year to find out that we were one of 18 finalists, so you can imagine our utter disbelief to be invited to the dinner as one of the final three in our category… I think it’s fair to say that further astonishment occurred when they announced that we were the WINNER(!!) and Dame Jenni Murray presented us with our awards at the Gala evening on 13thSeptember!
We have made a number of changes over the past year, and to have our hard work recognised by these awards was truly the cherry on top! Since the awards we have had a host of opportunities open up to us and have been in the local paper a few times too; none of these would have been possible without having won that award.
A huge thank you to everyone who helped to organise the event, and to category sponsor Taylored IT for choosing us as their winner!
We have a lovely shiny glass award which now stands proudly in the Gallery in its fabulous wooden stand, handcrafted by local woodturner and Gallery artist, Tony Walters.
In a change to the regular schedule, we decided to hold our next Charity Art Competition before Christmas this time around! ‘From A to Z’ in aid of Enham Trust and Andover Foodbank has set a number of records for us this year. Not only have we had a record number of entries to the competition, we also have had entries from all around the UK and not just Hampshire which has been fantastic! Thanks to Instagram and Facebook, we received competition entries from people in locations including: Norfolk, Devon, Staffordshire and even North Yorkshire!
The idea behind this year’s competition was that every entrant would be given a 7×5” postcard and a letter of the Alphabet; they then had to use their letter to influence their work in some way, be it medium, influencing artist, subject or something completely out of the box. We had a total of 75 entries returned to us and it created a fantastic exhibition of works, varying in medium, subject and artist age!
Our preview evening saw Andy from Enham Trust, Debbie from Andover Foodbank and Christine from Eve’s Garden judge the entries (a very difficult job indeed) and awarding:
1stPrize to Amanda Davies for ‘Magical Moon Moth’
2ndPrize to Colin Adey for ‘Urban Sprawl’
1stPrize (Children’s) to Belle for ‘Harry the Hedgehog’
2ndPrize (Children’s) to Luke for ‘Learning Letters’
We also hosted a People’s Choice award, voted for by visitors to the Gallery over two weeks. All of the votes were counted and the winner was:
Lorna Marie for ‘Dragonfly’
It has been such a fantastic exhibition with support from Enham Trust and Andover Foodbank, Sue our owner who made delicious canapés for the night, Crescent Signs Ltd who sponsored our Children’s prizes and Vince McGarry at Ace Framing who kindly provided us with a £50 framing voucher for the People’s Choice winner!
All the entries can be viewed here and you are still able to buy them both in-store and online through our website!!
So far, we have managed to raise over £800 for the two charities, with all entries selling for £30 each. We hope to continue to raise a little more in the New Year by keeping the entries on display for the first few weeks of January – so if you didn’t manage to catch them before, make sure you pop in to see them soon!
Our past year has been hectic, there is no contesting that…
We have made great advances in our use of social media and advertising, have gained some fantastic new artists and makers, have created a lovely relationship with the local Embroiderer’s Guild through ‘Stitch Monday’ mornings and have generally maintained great trade throughout the year. We have been so happy with this and are SO grateful that we can still provide our customers with fantastic gifts, artwork, cake and lunches!
Thank you to everyone who has visited us this year, has supported our artists, eaten delicious cakes, scones and sandwiches with us and to everyone who helps us out when we need it – we honestly couldn’t do it without you!
We hope you all have a very Happy New Year and we look forward to welcoming you in 2019!
Exhibitions in 2018:
- ‘The Natural World’ – Charity Art Exhibition in aid of Andover Trees United
- ‘A Brush with Colour’ by Sylvia French and Susan Hawkins
- ‘Hot Off the Press’ – an open exhibition celebrating the art of Printmaking
- ‘Threads’ – an open exhibition celebrating the art of Textiles
- ‘Town and Country’ – an open exhibition celebrating the art of Photography
- ‘Travelling Trees’ by the Hampshire Home Education Network
- ‘Through the Eyes of the Masters’ by Andover Art Society
- ‘Familiar Territory’ by Wayne Jefferson
- ‘Paper, Brush and Palette Knife’ by QuARTet
- ‘Parallax’ by Ken Rich
- ‘The Earth has Music’ by SixtyFourPackingCases (Sarah Maddison)
- ‘Hidden and Revealed’ by Challenge Art Group
- ‘From the Road’ by Claire Leach
- ‘Elements’ – an open exhibition
- Hampshire Open Studios – the ‘Summer Exhibition’ by Andover Art Society
- ‘O Simple Nature’ by John Bloor and Claire Leach
- ‘A Very Personal View’ by Keith Pattison
- ‘Phoenix’ by Phoenix Art Group
- ‘The Beauty All Around’ by Jenny Gibbs
- ‘A View from the Heart’ by Nancie Rowley
- ‘Wood and Water’ by Nick Andrew and Tanya Hinton
- ‘From A to Z’ – Charity Art Exhibition in aid of Enham Trust and Andover Foodbank
Workshops in 2018:
- Botanical Art with Sally Pond
- Encaustic Art with Karen Tait
- Modern Calligraphy with Sunita Auger
- Coptic Bookbinding with Isabel Carmona
- Two Ways with Ink with Maureen Bond
- Autumn Flowers in Watercolour with Maureen Bond
- Children’s Sugar Skulls with Kaz Trinder
- Christmas Decoration Painting with Piet van den Beuken (Roelofs & Rubens)