After leaving the high-pressure world of marketing and management to become a glass artist, Inge Chappell is combining her talents and starting a new, expanded gallery in Warkworth.
Kleur Gallery & Makerspace, on 2A Kapanui Street, opened last month, selling work from artists around the region, including art glass, jewellery, paintings, ceramics, clothing, homeware and handcrafted gifts.
She says her primary goal is to promote local and New Zealand art.
“I would describe the new space as an art and craft gallery which offers a range of collectable art work as well as very accessible and attractive handmade products and gifts,” she says.
“It seems there is a really strong demand for quality, handmade art and craft in the Mahurangi area, especially with the region expanding and tourism growing.”
Inge has set up her own studio at the gallery and also holds regular workshops on glass bead making, glass fusing, silverwork and jewellery making.
She hopes the gallery will be a space that supports established artists and also encourages developing artists.
“There can be a lot of barriers for artists, to get their work shown in galleries outside exhibitions and although the internet and personal networks can help a great deal, art is still largely purchased by people who had no clear intention to buy before coming in and seeing something they cannot resist.”
Inge worked in marketing and project management before deciding on a career change to work in a more creative field.
She studied glass through various tutors and did a silversmith course at Hungry Creek Art and Craft School. From there, she set up a studio at her Puhoi home to produce her line of hand-made glass jewellery and sculptures.
Last year, she took the plunge and opened a studio-gallery space on Elizabeth Street in Warkworth and its popularity lead to the formation of Kleur Gallery.
“We’ve been extremely busy since opening and the community has been very encouraging and complimentary.”