The art of charity

By Mark Elson in Local People

THE Forest Upcycling Project is opening a new art gallery supporting local and disabled artists on Saturday (May 6) at its site in Chepstow.

Artists displaying their work for sale in the gallery include Forest artist Doug Eaton.  Doug’s work has been described as ‘figurative’ or ‘semi-abstract’ as he uses bright and vibrant colours to depict the Forest landscape. 

Matt Jones, project manager, said: “Doug has been a long-term supporter of the charity and customers of the FUP Coleford furniture shop will have seen a mural he painted with volunteers on one of the shop walls.  

“Mary Edwards, a Wye Valley artist who works in oils, and Anne Raymond, a Welsh artist who creates 3D work using recycled computer components, are also on board.

“We are so pleased to have such talented artists to launch the gallery.  The ultimate aim once we are up and running is to work with disabled volunteers to run the shop. The commissions made from the sale of the art will help us work with more vulnerable people and support more low income families.”

The gallery is a new venture for the charity, which currently works with disabled and vulnerable people in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean area to collect and sell donated furniture, as well as running a gardening team. Forest Upcycling has turned over more than 150 tonnes of furniture in the last 12 months, with many of these items given away to families in need. 

Matt added: “The items are also available to members of the public from our Cinderford, Coleford and Chepstow showrooms. 

“In addition to the local artwork on sale, we also have handmade goods from Uganda, where they employ a single mother of two, Stella, to procure items from local craftsmen and women. This has allowed Stella to send her children to school and feed her family.”

The gallery opens its doors with refreshments and live music from 10am to 1pm and everyone is welcome. After the opening event, the gallery will be open from 10am to 1pm from Wednesday to Saturday.

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