Scarlet Wines & The Vineyard Table, a café, deli and wine shop in Lelant, is offering local artists the opportunity to showcase their work and take part in collaborations to raise their profile.
The project has been devised by Scarlet Wines staff member Iona Sanders – who is herself an artist – with the support of owner Jon Keast.
The walls of the busy café will become a rotating exhibition space featuring a different artist each month, while a local potter has been chosen to create a range of tableware to be used by Jon and the team, which will also be available to buy.
Iona explained the thinking behind the programme, saying: “The idea is to offer artists a chance to have a solo show with high footfall. Many will not have had this opportunity before. We opened it up to everyone via social media, and have been inundated – we are booking into next Spring now!”
The monthly exhibitions have been taken up by a mixture of aspiring and established artists, and work ranges from line drawings, abstract paintings, etchings, photography and ceramics.
During May, visitors to Scarlet Wines will be able to enjoy the work of Ann Kelley; Anne is a novelist, poet and photographer – she will be showing photographic work alongside her new book ‘The Light at St Ives’.
Upcoming shows include botanical photographer Sarah Frost, detailed line drawings by Kim Lynch and Dan Bassett’s painterly seascapes.
Each artist has the chance to invite friends and family for a private view on an opening night, with the added benefit that the café will take a smaller commission than a gallery would normally require – so more of the proceeds stay with the artist.
Jon is excited about watching the shows unfold, saying: “It’s a great place for local artists to showcase their work, and to get in front of a wide audience. We’re also really looking forward to having something new to look at every month!”
In a further attempt to tap into local artistic talent, Jon has engaged the help of local potter Lloyd Peters to create a range of tableware, starting with milk jugs.
Lloyd, who is based at Halsetown just a few miles from Scarlet Wines, works in high-fired stoneware with traditional glazes, and describes his style as simple and spontaneous.
Jon and his team are enjoying using Lloyd’s ergonomic creations, which are on sale for £20 (small) or £60 (large); the tableware range will expand gradually over the coming months.