Art meets eyes

Valli Opticians in Warrington supports community artists with in-practice display

art in practice

An independent opticians in Birchwood, Warrington has given its interior walls a makeover by showcasing artwork produced by a local community art group.

The art on display at the practice, which is part of the optical group Valli Opticians, features everything from oil paintings, watercolours and acrylics to pastels and pencil drawings. It is all available to purchase, with proceeds going to the artists from Fearnhead Community Art Group.

Speaking about the exhibition, practice manager at Valli Opticians, James Houlihan, explained to OT that the idea occurred after talking to one of the artists from the group who is a patient at the practice.

“After meeting one of the members of the art group and having a chat about how the group has helped new members by giving them a friendship circle, finding new friends to talk to and gaining a new hobby, I immediately knew this was something we wanted to support in our community,” Houlihan explained.

The art was originally displayed on easels around the practice in early 2020, but due to the pandemic the practice has since been unable to allow people in to browse, something that Houlihan hopes will change soon.

“When the art was first displayed people would walk into the practice just to have a look at the exhibition, and there were lots of positive comments and people showing a real interest in the pieces. Some also wanted to visit the group with the intention of joining,” he shared.

Judith Humphrys, a member of the art group, told the Warrington Guardian: ‘‘It’s been fantastic for us to have somewhere to actually exhibit some of our work.

‘‘I think it gives people a sense of pride and it makes everyone smile.”