Welcome to the Asylum: New art gallery aims to encourage creativity

NEW VENTURE: Felix Thompson at the Art Asylum

NEW VENTURE: Felix Thompson at the Art Asylum

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Features & entertainments writer

A NEW gallery in Weymouth is aiming to change the rules of the art world.

Art Asylum is having a big celebration next weekend in honour of its recent opening.

The gallery is on the upstairs floor of Brewers Quay.

There will also be live music performed and owner Felix Thompson will be offering tours.

The gallery, offering art for all tastes and budgets, aims to take the mystery out of art and encourages everyone to be creative.

It wants everyone to pick up a paintbrush or pencil and have a go at producing art.

Felix said he had been overwhelmed with interest from local artists wanting a place to showcase their work.

He said: “We’ve got 15 artists on display ranging from a guy in his 90s to a teenager, they’ve all found me by word of mouth or social media. I want to create a place which is not only inspired but which also inspires.

“I’d love for the visitors to go home and create art themselves. I believe everyone is an artist.”

The gallery has a range of media and styles.

Felix’s own style is influenced by his love of music, especially punk.

The gallery also features a graffiti artist who has decorated a wall.

There is Sean Hepburn’s creative photography, which has attracted a lot of positive attention.

Artist Vince Elliott has found an international fan via the gallery and has even shipped seven pictures off to a buyer in Corsica.

Students from Weymouth College and the Arts University Bournemouth also feature at the gallery.

Alex Holloway produces faceless cameos of famous people and Dan Bristow’s photography is beautiful and tranquil. Mike Bamber is resident stone and bone carver extraordinaire and has a workshop in which he offers demonstrations and encourages visitors to have a go at carving.

Art Asylum plans to host a range of activities and demonstrations of different artistic techniques over the coming months, with artists often around to discuss their work and the inspiration behind their ideas.

It is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 5pm on Sundays.

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