A group of artists came together in an empty shop unit in Waterdale for a presentation by the artist Chinwe Russell who proposed to open an art gallery in the cultural quarters of Doncaster. 40 artists were present at this historic meeting such as Andy Hollinghurst, Becky Rydel, Richard Appleby, Phil Searle, Terry Chipp, and several others.
From that initial meeting, over 20 artists signed up to collaborate on the project which would give local artists a dedicated gallery space to show their work and participate in both national and international art events.
England went into lockdown because of Covid-19 Pandemic however, the project discussions and planning went ahead. The unit which the artists considered originally was discarded when the Doncaster Council suggested the use of the old library as a potential gallery space.
It was decided that given the nature of the project, a charity status would be the best way forward for the new gallery. The initial trustees were appointed: Chinwe Russell, Richard Appleby, Terry Chipp, and Andy Hollinghurst.
Over the next few months, these trustees, discussed, planned and successfully registered the projects as the D31 Art Gallery with the charity commission.
The first fund raising for the project was successfully done to help to kickstart the project.
While the discussions were ongoing for the gallery to be installed at the old library, it was suggested by the council that the project could be started initially in Scot Lane while waiting for the pandemic to be over and for the library to become available.
The lease to 13 Scot Lane was acquired and work began to turn it into a gallery space. The artists moved into 13 Scot Lane and started preparing for the first exhibition.
Founder and CEO
Chinwe Russell is a Nigerian-born British artist and curator with nearly 30 years of professional experience across many industries and geographies. Her CV encompasses Banking and Finance; Business Management and Development; Community Development; PR and Marketing; Training and Consultancy. She has developed her own Cosmetic and Skincare brand, while at the same time forging a successful career as professional artist. In addition to developing her own thriving art practice, Chinwe has brought her passion, energy, and creativity to bear on revitalising the visual arts sector in her adopted town of Doncaster.
Identified as a “Raw Talent” by the Yorkshire-based Arts& organisation, she was invited to exhibit in their 2018 exhibition in York. She has been a finalist at the Global Arts Awards, was selected for the Other Art Fair’s “Not 30% Project” and her work is featured in the Saatchi Online Gallery. Her work was selected for the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition in 2019.
Her passion to make a difference to the lives of people through the arts, led her to establish the Doncaster Art Fair. Its aims are to give opportunities to artists working in the town to show and sell their works, as well as giving the general public the chance to see and buy art works developed within their own community.
Chinwe is passionate about her new role at the gallery where she hopes her passion will see the project firmly established in the town.
TERRY CHIPP (BA, MA)
Membership and Education Advisor
I've been exhibiting and selling my artwork for many years. I currently host the CHIPPko.ART Studio/Gallery in C-View (the old art college) in Doncaster where visitors are welcome. Paintings and drawings are for sale and commissions are welcome.
In recent years I have painted and exhibited in North Carolina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Spain.
Recent international exhibitions include:
Dialogue with Nature – a joint exhibition in South Yorkshire with artists from Poland, Germany and UK.
Time Shadows – Solo show in T43 Gallery, Warsaw. Poland
Welcome to Gera – Joint exhibition with Jerry Leigh (UK) and Lourdes Silva (Mosambique) in M1 Kunstzone, Gera, Germany
4th International Bienalle of the Nude – Petrovac, Montenegro
I also carry out painting demonstrations and workshops for art groups in Yorkshire and beyond. As a Professional Associate of the SAA art organisation examples of my demonstrations have been televised on the 'Painting and Drawing Channel', featured in their ‘Splash of Paint’ DVD collection and published in their magazine 'Paint'.
I am an exhibiting member of the Leeds Fine Artists and exhibit with them across the North of England.
I am a self-taught artist. I starting drawing around 4 years ago after drawing my son’s dog. I have always been able to draw. However, I am more patient as I have grown older. I started adverting my drawings on Facebook and it went mad. I was drawing constantly. I was sending drawing all over the world. I don’t advertise anymore on Facebook Then I started to try my hand at painting around two years ago. I have never looked back.
Last year I was a wildcard on landscape artist of the year. That was a great experience and managed to get 12 seconds on air. I have tried many styles. However, I enjoy dark impressionistic style and realism. I have a passion for art however I work full time and don’t get as much time devoted to it as I would.
PR and Communications
Kim Farr is an Artist and curator born in Doncaster. She has just achieved a first-class BA honours degree in fine art and craft through Hull University and is about to begin a masters in curational practice at Leeds Art University.
She has worked in managerial positions within the building services industries and holiday home management whilst living in Cornwall. Always involved in voluntary positions within charities or as a committee member within various organisations such as parent teacher associations or nursery school settings. Holding chair, secretarial and treasury roles.
One of her recent positions was joint chairperson/secretary for The New Fringe art group in Doncaster. Helping to redirect the organisation to where it is today.
Kim’s love for the arts began at an early age due to her father’s profession as a tattoo artist based in Doncaster and due to his passion for film, photography and music. It was a natural progression that she followed in his footsteps. Kim’s art is multi-disciplined and in her own words ‘does not feel she should be pigeonholed into a certain category’ The world is an ever-changing place and that is how she views her work.
Kim’s artwork can be colourful bold statements and it can also be narrative and minimalistic.
As a curator
She has been involved in various exhibitions. project managing the Royal Photographic society exhibition ‘unframing our identities’ has been one of the largest to date. It involved curating over 500 pieces of work from 80 artists. Managing the PR and the marketing for the opening event and then invigilating on a regular basis. A huge success.
Kim has also curated exhibitions for tutors and fellow students at university. ‘New Beginnings’ in 2019 and the new Fringe Open in 2019 and various others
Documentation and Administration
I am a visual artist whose work is mostly influenced by surrealism. I am a Fellow of the Royal society of Artists and previous artist in residence at the corn exchange. I am currently in residence at the New fringe and I have collaborated on many art exhibitions and projects.
My work focuses on the challenges of mental health and how art can be used as a response to it. My role at the trustee is to document the history as it unfolds.
My love for art and career as an artist began at an early age; painting radiators in foster homes with green nail varnish, painting on bathroom walls at primary school, and then drawing and painting in nearly every lesson at secondary school; whether it was art class or not.
My Journey has been a long and eventful one being diagnosed at the tender age of 17 with paranoid Schizophrenia and Borderline Personality disorder. Art was my salvation and still is as it provides a means of channelling my internal turbulence. Struggling to attain my A levels and a university degree proved too stressful and so I focussed mainly on my art while isolated in my home unable to go out. My work with the Doncaster artist community has been hugely beneficial to me and my involvement with the charity is a privileged opportunity to give something back.
MAKE OUR HOUSE YOUR HOME
D31 Art Gallery is excited to announce that our gallery is now available for artist residency.
Display your work in our Doncaster based gallery for just £100.00 per month and receive a wealth of benefits, including;
Promotion through D31 social media channels
Feature on our website
Opportunity to receive commissions
Every season our artists create a special body of work which goes on tour in the UK and beyond. Our touring exhibition covers a wide range of themes from history, people places and cultures, to government, immigration, environments and so much more.
Our tour collections are available for hire for various uses such as that special board meeting, for museums and galleries, for educational establishment and so on.
Contact us to discuss hiring any of of tourist.