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MP opens Walsham's public gallery

PUBLISHED: 09:33 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:49 13 July 2010

ARTISTS and art lovers spilled onto the terrace at the packed launch of what is believed to be North Walsham's first public gallery in living memory.

Over 150 people watched from inside and out as north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb officially opened the Griffon Gallery which will showcase work by top local artists throughout the year.

ARTISTS and art lovers spilled onto the terrace at the packed launch of what is believed to be North Walsham's first public gallery in living memory.

Over 150 people watched from inside and out as north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb officially opened the Griffon Gallery which will showcase work by top local artists throughout the year.

Organisers hope the gallery, free to visitors and open on weekdays from 10am to 4pm,

will inspire, boost the area's cultural attractions, and reveal north Norfolk's rich seam of artistic talent.

The gallery has been created, with Awards for All Big Lottery funding, at the Brentnall House base of regeneration group the Griffon Area Partnership, on Vicarage Street.

The building was formerly a Tourist Information Centre and people looking for leaflets are still daily visitors.

A portable display of take-away information will be available at the gallery and Griffon spokesman Mike Jones hopes those dropping in for a bus timetable will find time to browse the artwork.

Gallery curator Mike Toll is among three artists displaying at the first exhibition of 37 pieces, together with Sheringham-based painter Peter Baldwin, and sculptor Steve Kelly, from Trimingham. Their works are for sale priced from £40 to £1500.

Griffon Gallery is a joint venture between the partnership and Antingham Arts, run by Mr Toll from his Wilds Cottage Studios home in Antingham.

He said: “We wanted to make good, high-quality art accessible to the community and challenge people's perceptions.”

The current exhibition will run until February 28 and the following seven, six-week, shows for 2008 are already fully booked, with a waiting list of artists.

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