Where do you go in Doncaster these days if you want to go wine tasting or get some relaxing reiki therapy? An art gallery, of course!
The gallery in question is Maggie McAndrews’ The Mac Gallery in South Parade – where the pictures on the wall are just a part of an amazing foray into a new artistic world for the town’s social scene.
Maggie, a former general and mental health nurse-turned-artist from Balby, opened up shop just over six months ago, and since then she’s helped business and art thrive together with a string of art shows and workshops interlaced with creative networking events.
The gallery has launched its latest exhibition which features works by two artists with local connections – Doncaster-born Christine Nichol, and Rotherham’s Jill Green.
But the women’s creations will be admired by more than just art lovers, as the gallery also opens its doors to a Wine Club, two women’s business networks and coaching groups for men and women, an art walk and even alternative therapy sessions throughout its monthly diary.
Said Maggie: “When I opened the gallery last Christmas, it was my plan to turn the building into a creative space, and do more than just hang pictures on walls.
“At our monthly Wine Club, people can taste good quality wine or bring their favourite bottle and share it over cheese and crackers, while women’s groups Identities CIC and Girlie Gatherings, all bring a great mix of people together and the art often acts as an icebreaker to get conversations going and relationships growing. John Senior is providing the equivalent groups for men”
Since launching, Maggie has staged a new exhibition every month, and she thinks Jill and Christine’s displays will be particularly popular and will provide good talking points for gallery visitors.
Maggie also runs the innovative arts project Creative Art as Therapy which helps people diagnosed with illness communicate and gain confidence through art and craft.
Jill and Christine’s art will be on display until August 1. Entry is free.
The next Wine Club takes place today from 8pm. Admission is £10.
The Mac Gallery is at 12a, South Parade and is open to the public from Thursday to Saturday 11-6pm and Sunday 12-6pm. For more information call Maggie on 01302 590005 or visit http://www.creativeartastherapy.co.uk