Tucked away by the underpass, Pop-Atelier hides a large collection of art; great and small, photos and canvases, sculptures and drawings, jewellery and curios. Sat opposite Winchester train station, the small gallery-cum-shop is subtitled “The Everyman Studio”, denoting its openness to local, student, professional and amateur art, with a door open to all with the money for the exhibition fees. To further demonstrate its open door policy Sally Ingram, the proprietor, is planning on hosting work by drink and drugs abusers, work from the local life drawing class and work from local schools.
Pop-Atelier’s nonexclusive policy allowed a joint exhibition of work by Winchester School of Art and Peter Symond’s college students to be organised with an open brief; the only requirements being that only one piece may be submitted per person, and that it must be smaller than a square metre. This freedom allowed students to submit their favourite piece of work and get it appropriately framed to maximise selling opportunity.
The gallery’s out of the way location and limited marketing makes it seem exclusive and closed off, yet the open attitude of both the gallery and the owner make it a great place to visit for presents, inspiration and some reasonably priced art. As a showcase for local talent, it should be shouted about far and wide; a hidden gem in the backstreets of Winchester that sells not just art but also “objets d’art, curios and a range of craft pieces” and is willing to sell on any artwork or gubbins that you may have hanging around.
Pop-Atelier’s flexibility enables it to change to whatever is required and although in a relatively small space, it has been curated well, with such a large selection of sizes and media it still seems coherent and tasteful, not random and brash. Local art can often be timid and bland, all landscapes and dog portraits, yet the gallery manages to reach above and beyond such mediocrity providing a cacophony of colour and styles to match all tastes.
To get your work in the gallery contact Sally at firstname.lastname@example.org or pop into the gallery on 44, Stockbridge Road, Winchester, SO23 7BZ.