After a frantic few weeks of moving into our new premises, giving it a dramatic makeover, hanging our opening exhibition and having a fabulous opening party, I finally have a few minutes to sit and contemplate our new surroundings.
Dursley, a small market town at the edge of the Cotswolds where the rolling hills give way to the flood planes of the river Severn, is the last place in Gloucestershire anyone expected an art gallery to pop up. It is a town that has been through some hard times and it’s reputation reflects that. Once the home of R.A. Listers, an engineering company known throughout the country, the local community was left fairly devastated when the company closed it’s Dursley factory around the turn of the millennium.
But as time has passed things have improved and as a new resident in the area the sense of regeneration is tangible. Having a little explore has lead me to discover a lovely little town with so much potential. Many of our first visitors have greeted us with such a warm welcome and it feels genuinely exciting to play a part in changing the perception of the town.
But now the real work begins! When most people think of the arts in Gloucestershire they don’t think of coming to Dursley so we have to get the word out. Let people see that something new and exciting is happening here and see how passionate we are about really high quality arts. The last twenty years has seen the neighboring towns of Stroud and Nailsworth grow and thrive. I’m sure it is Dursley’s turn to do the same.