BALLYMENA’S Vis Art Club are on cloud nine with their new location - even though they know it is just temporary!
At present they are based in the Tower Shopping Centre, opposite Primark.
They are a Pop-Up Shop selling quality works of art by local artists. They will there until Saturday, September 25.
Last Wednesday Vis Art Chairperson, Barbara Morrison spoke at the official opening of the Pop-Up Shop and Exhibition.
She told the guests their current site is one like they have been searching a long time for!
Thanks to getting use of the premises, continued Barbara, Vis Art can embark on a new chapter in the long history of the club.
The Chair said they will make full use of the “great location” in the Tower Centre - “A location which we have been searching for without success for a long time - one that is central, and has space and footfall,” she said, admitting such a place is a “difficult combination to find.”
The Chairperson, welcomed the Mid and East Antrim Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Matthew Armstrong, along with Kathryn Campbell, of the Department for Communities, Rachael Kearns, of Mid and East Antrim Council, and Leanne Doak, of Ballymeea Tower Centre.
The Pop Up Shop has been mainly funded by the Department for Communities, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Ballymena Tower Centre.
“You are all most welcome and we owe you our heartfelt thanks for this innovative thinking,” said Chairperson Barbara.
And she thanked all members of the Vis Art Team “who worked tirelessly to get the shop as you see it today.”
With the welcomes and thank-yous complete Vis Art President, Catherine Flood, was called upon to officially declare the Pop-Up Shop and Exhibiton open for business.
The President said they were delighted to be in the Tower Centre premises, and thanked Mid and East Antrim Council and the others for their help and support.
And she thanked Maria, Barbara, Noel, Ursula and Carol, who “worked so hard with great enthusiasm and good humour.”
“You only have to look around you to see what a wonderful job they have done,” outlined Catherine.
Special thanks went to Vis Art Chairman Barbara Morrison.
“It has been an awful year and a half for everyone,” recalled Catherine.
“And Barbara has facilitated those of us who enjoy sketching and painting outdoors. She kept in touch with all of us, checked the weather forecast - if it was reasonable we went out, socially distancing of course.”
The President said it has been a joy, and pointed out that posters in the pop-up shop recorded those outings.
“Thank you Barbara for the photographs and Maria for doing the posters,” summed up Catherine.
And she wished the Vis Art Pop-Up Shop every success.
* Ballymena Vis Art Club is based at Ballymena Golf Club. Last year Vis Art put on an exhibition of work in Midtown Makers in Chuch Street in Ballymena.
On show was work done by members during lockdown. “March 11 was our last meeting of the Spring term but we have tried to ensure that everyone is kept informed about what we are doing and how we are progressing,” explained Barbara at the time.
Vis Art was founded 54 years ago by Frank Shepherd, who taught Art in the Boys’ Secondary School - and it is still going strong.
* Any group interested in occupying the Pop-up shop should contact Linda.Stevenson@midandeastantrim
At present Ballymena Vis Art plan to continue to meet at the Golf Club each Wednesday morning to enjoy their pastime and good company with like minded people.