Event: Art Village, various genres, Shawlands Arcade, Glasgow
Review by Frank Johnson, 35, Pollok: five stars
I had not been to the Shawlands Arcade for some time, so I was very disappointed when I discovered that several more shops had closed including the second-hand bookshop from which I used to regularly buy. But - and this was a very pleasant surprise - taking up four previously empty units is Art Village.
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How to describe it? One of the organisers, Patrick, told me they had 7000 square feet of exhibition space. The space is filled with wonderful artwork (John Bellany, who used to do covers for the Whistlebinkies albums, is represented by several prints; there are some Howsons I did not recognise and there are loads of other artists); there is what is billed as Scotland's Smallest Cinema (at two seats it probably is) showing short films (I loved Fate - a brilliant romcom with great music); there is a shop full of graphic novels; there is sculpture and jewellery.
And it was busy. People came in with their shopping, with their kids, friends, spouses. Everything is for sale and when I enquired I was told that two of the Bellanys are already sold. A little girl was so inspired that she was leaning on a table drawing what she said was a mermaid. A woman was buying a birthday card for her friend. Since I had arrived in a book mood, I treated myself to the Costa Award winning Daughter of Her Father's Eye by Mary Talbot.
The exhibition and the films change next month so I'll be back on a regular basis. If you have not been yet, it's easy to find behind Sainsbury's on the Kilmarnock Road side. Workshops also start next month. I've rediscovered the Arcade.