Smiths Orchard Garden Centre

We held a very successful exhibition at Smiths Orchard Garden Centre, 70 Chadwell Road, Grays, from 27th June to 19th July 2015 as part of the Thurrock Art Trail 2015. Our theme was ‘Flowers, Gardens, Parks and Woodlands’ with around 55 original paintings on display in watercolour, acrylics and pastels from which we sold 8 paintings. Thanks to Jo for adapting Fred’s banner for the front of the garden centre so well! Thanks to Suzanne for the beautiful design of our ‘teacup ads’.

The exhibition was right next to the excellent café and we used the point-of-sale ‘teacup ads’ to entice those from the café into the exhibition! Lots of the ‘teacup ads’ mysteriously disappeared and I had to cut out another batch. We experimented with artist profiles and new painting labels. It was also here that Fran suggested that we should all have badges – I think she was joking?! The staff at the Garden Centre were very enthusiastic about the exhibition and we received lots of positive feedback from the public.

For Jean and I this was our first joint venture in putting together an exhibition. Putting it up in a garden centre was really a step into the unknown. Any nightmares we might have had were completely blown away on the day we set up. It was an absolutely beautiful day! Helen, Sarah and Martin (particularly Martin!) couldn’t do enough for us! The extra trellis was brilliant! All through the day members of the Art Group turned up to help – we could not have done it without all of you! Terry, as ever, was so organised and it all came together so well. There were frequent trips to the café! I managed to step backwards on to a (Gloria’s!) painting and broke the glass but Terry sorted that out magnificently. Lisa had advised us that white tack was good to use – and she was right – even in greenhouse conditions! The main team stayed most of the day and were shattered at the end of it, but very pleased with what we had achieved. There was also a race to fill the spaces when a painting had been bought. What several of us really wanted to do was come back on several occasions and do some ‘en plein air’ painting (and visit the café!) Unfortunately, events conspired against us. However, there were still several return visits to the café!

Hopefully we will be back here again in 2016 with our WHAG Summer Art Showcase; watch this space!

RSC/SMW 22 Mar 2016