One of Glasgow’s most respected art galleries celebrated its 30th anniversary with a new exhibition and a new location.
The Roger Billcliffe Gallery was once the largest private gallery in Scotland – spanning five floors on Blythswood Street since its opening in 1992.
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Now, in a move that’s been in the works for some time, the gallery has hopped up the road to a smaller space at 185B Bath Street as online demand grows.
Friends of the gallery were invited to attend the grand opening on Thursday for a glimpse of the new space and the inaugural exhibition of both old and new artists.
Roger Billcliffe told The Glasgow Times: “We were 30 years just around the corner in Blythswood Street, which was a huge place and lovely space in many ways.
“But times change and ways of selling pictures have changed, and most of our sales these days originate on the web.
“We didn’t need five floors of display because our clientele is international, and a lot of people buy pictures without actually physically seeing them.
“So, we didn’t need five floors and there were other circumstances which made us look for somewhere different.
“And this is very different. It’s still in the same area so people don’t have to go far to find it.
“Now we’re looking forward to a new lease of life.”
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Over the coming year, the gallery will present solo exhibitions with shows planned for Saul Robertson, Louis McNally, Gordon Mitchell, Glen Scouller, and Duncan Shanks.
The plan is to host solo shows that will run for four weeks and the team at the gallery hopes to announce soon a full exhibition programme for next year.
Mr Billcliffe said: “There are people we’ve shown for 30 years in the old building, so we’re carrying on the links, hoping that people who were going to look at them then will come and look at them here.
“There will be new faces and old faces so people will know what they are going to see.”
Running a gallery in Glasgow has changed a lot over 30 years. People no longer have to come to exhibitions to see pictures and most of the sales now happen online.
Mr Billciffe said: “Now it’s rather different.
“I deal with clients I’ve never met via the phone, via the web, and via email, and some of them have been very good clients that have bought very expensive pictures.
“But they are relying on our reputation for quality and the knowledge of a particular artist.”
The return of artworks to the gallery is rare despite many customers not seeing pieces in person, a testament to the encyclopaedic knowledge of the gallery team.
All of the artists in the gallery have a link to Scotland, whether they were born here, trained here, or lived here.
For more information, visit billcliffegallery.com.
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