Culture

Bovey Tracey has an active arts and crafts community.

The Devon Guild of Craftsmen attracts 120,000 people through its doors each year and the Contemporary Crafts Festival every June has some 10,000 visitors who
travel from all over the UK.

Artists resident in Bovey Tracey and surrounding areas have a number of problems. First, their options for displaying their pictures are very limited. Only members of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen may display in the Guild, and amateur artists only have the option of displaying in relatively small spaces in cafés in the town. Devon has a thriving artistic community, and in Bovey Tracey there are eight members of the Devon Artists’ Network. These artists do not have the option of displaying their work in Bovey Tracey and have to use art galleries in surrounding small towns.

The market for displaying works of art is not restricted to Bovey Tracey, and artists from across the county could be interested in the use of a gallery and workshop area in the town. For example, an active group of artists, Dartmoor Artists has been holding an annual exhibition of work by artists in the south west for 65 years. Members of the group have expressed interest in the opportunity of displaying also in Bovey Tracey.

Second, many artists would like a place where they can work – there are no local studio spaces. Many of the established artists complain that there are no suitable spaces in Bovey Tracey for them to run workshops, to pass on their knowledge and expertise; again, they have to travel to other towns for this.

The proposed gallery, located in the former public bar of the pub, offers a good space for the display of pictures, and there is an additional room for small displays or as a temporary workshop space. Four upstairs rooms will be made available as artists’ studios.