New art gallery launches in Derbyshire Dales hotel

A new gallery showcasing contemporary art is opening in a Wirksworth hotel.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 11:23 am
The Red Lion Hotel in Wirksworth  houses the new Haarlem Gallery (photo: Will Slater).
The Red Lion Hotel in Wirksworth houses the new Haarlem Gallery (photo: Will Slater).

Haarlem Artspace launch their not-for-profit venture at the Red Lion Hotel by opening an exhibition for public viewing on November 26, 2021. The gallery will officially open its doors to members of the public on November 28.

The first exhibition ‘gathering’ at Haarlem Gallery will take visitors from prehistoric sites to folk rituals and rave music as ten rural Cornish Artists explore the communal act of intimacy. This is set to be the first of a series of exhibitions that have been programmed for the gallery throughout the year and opening to the public on weekends.

Co-director Olivia Punnett said: “I am beyond excited, after negotiating the pandemic, to finally open the doors and welcome everyone to the new gallery.”

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Catherine Rogers, Bev Sheppard and Olivia Punnett, co-directors of Haarlem Artspace.

The Haarlem team launched a GoFundMe appeal which raised £500 to buy equipment such as exhibition lighting, a projector and sound equipment.

Olivia said: “We have been fortunate enough to be supported by a National Lottery Project Grant from Arts Council England, however we are neither a publicly nor privately funded organisation which is why we have had to raise some funds for the transformation, and we are incredibly thankful to those who have donated.

"Thankfully, we have a fabulous team of volunteers at Haarlem Artspace to carry us forward.”

Olivia said that the annual programme at Haarlem Gallery is going to be ambitious and added: “We want to encourage visitors from outside of Derbyshire to find out about Haarlem Artspace’s creative community and of course to visit the stunning historic town of Wirksworth.”

Haarlem Artspace, based at Haarlem Mill on Derby Road, Wirksworth, champions rural contemporary art at home and abroad, through online exhibitions, residencies, talks and events. The organisation prides itself on being a space for artists, cultural workers, curators, educators, freelancers, makers, producers, writers, art and culture lovers to work within its studios in a building that was once the first coal-powered mill in the world.

Haarlem Mill was a possible setting for George Eliot’s book The Mill on the Floss.

Haarlem Artspace is open on Fridays and Saturdays during exhibitions. To find out more, go to