Belfast Telegraph

Belfast art gallery on move to bigger space after 30 years

By John Mulgrew

A family-owned gallery and art supplies store that counts Belfast painter Terry Bradley among its customers is moving from its home of three decades to new, larger premises.

Bradbury Art has been based at Queen Street in the city centre.

But owner Richard Brown is transferring the successful business to a glass-fronted two-storey building on Callender Street that was formerly home to menswear store Bogart.

Bradbury Art has four staff, but Richard said he hoped to expand the team once the move is completed.

"We have been here for 30 years. We focus on art supplies and have an art gallery as well," he said.

"We go from intermediate to professional artists. But one thing we are going to do when we expand into a larger space is that we are looking at expanding our price range."

On the impending move, he said: "We have always been looking and there has been a move towards the Victoria Square area - the 'golden triangle'.

"We believe it's a better location and has better frontage.

"There is great light coming through the glass front, and we are bigger in terms of square footage.

"There will be art supplies on the ground floor and a mezzanine where our gallery space would go. It's nice to have the two different atmospheres."

Work is well under way on the refit of the store.

Richard said that the move would see new brands and products added to the gallery's range.

"It was a relatively good fit-out for us, and we are doing quite a bit of work. We also have lots of new products coming in.

"We have pencilled in our opening date, we are hoping for Tuesday, February 28."

The business will close at Queen Street on February 25, pack up, and transfer to Callender Street.

"We are all looking forward to it," he added.

"Not the move itself, but it's going to be a fantastic place for us.

"The feedback for us from customers has been very good. Parking is so much easier."

The gallery sells a wide range of works by artists such as Bradley and Edward Waite.

Richard said its success had been buoyed by the interest and knowledge of the staff, who are all practising artists.

"We all have our little preferences, but we are all enthusiastic. It's like a sweet shop for artists."

Bradbury was set up by Richard's father Robert, and has expanded in its 30 years.

"Business has been very good," Richard added.

"We have changed ranges over the years, as trends have changed, but it's always been a steady market.

"For us, we have always had good links with art societies and clubs.

"Now parents are coming in with their children, after they once shopped with us. We have a very loyal following."

He said the business had a "whole host" of professional artists who used the shop on a regular basis.

"We have always tried to be very competitive," he added.

"It's quite a niche business, but people like to see the product.

"You can buy over the internet, but people like to see the product.

"We are trying to compete, and really do a good deal.

"Not everyone commands a huge figure for their work."

Commercial property firm Frazer Kidd was responsible for the new letting to Bradbury Art of the former Bogart store.

Belfast Telegraph

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