The Bluebird Gallery opens at the Mercia Marina development

The Bluebird Gallery

The Bluebird Gallery - Credit: Archant

Dreams have come true for Maxine Pincher as she opens her new gallery at the stylish Mercia Marina development near Derby

The new Piazza development at Mercia Marina

The new Piazza development at Mercia Marina - Credit: Archant

Art has changed Maxine Pincher’s life in more ways than one. Two years ago she met the man who would become her husband when she sold him some paintings at the gallery she used to manage. Maxine and Nigel tied the knot last summer in a ceremony in Montana, USA, and are now living in a traditional farmhouse in Barton-under-Needwood, which they are renovating from top to bottom. And it seems that all good things really do come in threes as after getting married and moving in with Nigel, Maxine has now also achieved her dream of opening a fine art gallery at Mercia Marina’s £3m landmark Piazza building, which opened earlier this year.

The Bluebird Gallery is on the ground floor of the new building, facing the water, and at 1,248sq ft it is the second largest retail unit in the Piazza, after an Indian tapas-style restaurant called Lotus. The view from the art gallery is one that Maxine is familiar with as she has walked her dog for many years around the marina on Findern Lane, Willington, often thinking that it was the perfect location for a gallery.

She had managed a gallery for over eight years before making the life-changing decision to run her own business and believed the marina would be a ‘fabulous site’ for her gallery. Maxine said: ‘When I called the marina there were no units available in the Boardwalk building but there was a possibility of one being available in the new Piazza building. We had been looking for somewhere for a while but everywhere was tied up and we didn’t want to be in the city centre or move out of the area. This is perfect because it’s right on our doorstep. When we secured the unit we were elated, it was fantastic news. We have a fabulous location and a great portfolio of artwork from some of the finest international selling artists.’

Maxine has over eight years of experience running an art gallery and was previously involved in interior design, planning kitchens and bathrooms and working for Laura Ashley. It was a friend who inspired her to think about a career in art.

Maxine at home in the Bluebird Gallery

Maxine at home in the Bluebird Gallery - Credit: Archant

She said: ‘My friend worked for an art gallery and she loved her job. I’d always had an appreciation for art but that’s what sparked my interest. I thought running a gallery would be a nice job so I set about sending my CV to a few places and got a job managing a gallery. It was all about timing really. I always thought I would like my own business one day but getting this unit was the key for me.’

Maxine has been planning every last detail of the Bluebird Gallery for months from the décor to the different artworks on display. She said: ‘I love buying the art for the gallery and I love the selling part, too; seeing the joy on people’s faces. It can be a real investment for some people and buying a piece of art is a very individual choice. As we are an independent gallery we have an extensive portfolio and we have prices to suit all denominations and a range of genres including landscapes, portraits, figurative, abstract and cityscapes with the mediums ranging from original oil paintings to signed limited edition prints. We also have a fabulous selection of sculptures.’

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Artists Maxine will showcase include Ronnie Wood, Peter Smith, Alex Echo, Caroline Shotton, Sarah Graham, Paul Kenton, JJ Adams, Craig Davison, Hamish Blakely, Jeff Rowland and Richard Rowan. The gallery will also host special events, including artist-in-attendance evenings with a full exhibition of their work. Clients will have the opportunity to meet the artist in person and ask any questions they may have while enjoying a glass of bubbly in a relaxed atmosphere.

Maxine said: ‘We believe all the artwork to be a considered purchase for our clients, however, we have a beautiful range of limited editions, originals and sculptures with price ranges to suit most budgets. The gallery also offers a range of services including a Home Approval service. We are happy to bring the artwork to a client’s home for them to view in situ before they make a final decision. There is no charge for this service and the client is under no obligation. We just want to ensure we help our clients make the right choice. We are also able to commission various artists for a truly bespoke piece of art. It can take time for someone to make a large purchase and we will go to great lengths to support them in making that decision, even hanging it in their homes so they can see what it looks like before they decide to buy it. It’s a very important decision for some people as a piece of art is not necessarily something someone needs but is often something their heart is set on. People are often looking for art that is unique and individual.’

The new Piazza development at Mercia Marina

The new Piazza development at Mercia Marina - Credit: Archant

Maxine is now looking forward to the future and being a part of the growing community at Mercia Marina: ‘Nigel and I met two years ago, we got married last summer and now I’ve opened my own art gallery. It’s safe to say that the last two years have been a bit of a whirlwind.’

Bluebird Gallery, Mercia Marina, Findern Lane, Willington DE65 6DW. Tel: 01283 204753. View at Gallery opens: Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 10.30am-4.30pm. Closed Mondays except for Bank Holiday Monday 10.30am-4.30pm.