WE'VE COME A LONG WAY.
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.