‘It’s all about word of mouth’: How gallery supporting Northampton artists has gone from strength to strength
The town’s history is celebrated in the shop, as well as local talent
An art gallery that has showcased local artists for a number of years has managed to keep up its success during the pandemic.
15 Collingwood, in Collingwood Road, Abington, is owned by Rocco Catalano and his partner Peter Daniels.
Rocco, who has a design background and is ‘born and bred’ Northampton, was working in a nearby Italian deli when he saw that a shop, which used to be a shoe shop, had become available.
The 47-year-old said: “I went to Glasgow School of Art and when I finished there I came back to Northampton but I had no idea what I was going to do.
“I had always known about a lot of artists here and when I came back I was reminded about the amount of work people do here.
“When I saw the shop had come up, I decided to go for it with my brother Franco.
“I found that everything art related was always really focused on three streets in Northampton, but there is so much more.
“I’m proud of Northampton, proud of where I live and proud of the people of Northampton.”
When the shop opened back in November 2013, Rocco managed to get lots of local artists on board and also began to source high-end vintage furniture.
He added: “We mix furniture with contemporary art.
“I have an understanding and the knowledge of the industry and of what people do, so I curate and I pick exactly what I want in the shop.
“If I don’t think I can sell it, I won't have it in the shop.
“We are always looking for people to showcase their work with us and we change the shop every couple of weeks.”
While supporting local artists, Rocco and Peter also keep the tradition of the former shoe shop alive with watercolour paints and other pieces in tribute to the industry.
After almost seven years of the business, the success has been able to carry on during the pandemic, mainly aided by the online shop and the business’ presence on social media.
“We have a good customer base that always comes back and usually we have people driving from all over the country,” Rocco continued.
“A lot of local people know we have high quality pieces, but with the online shop we send to all over the world.
“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved. The people that know about us love us and they all tell their friends - it’s all about word of mouth.
“At the moment customers don’t have to physically come into the shop.
“We post pictures of everything we get in on Instagram and they can always call me, so we have been doing quite well.”
The couple and the shop have also appeared on BBC One show Money for Nothing on more than one occasion and are regularly asked to be part of the programme.
Among other national artists, the shop showcases local artists such as Lee Cousins, Kat, Lendacka, Sam Wadsworth, Duck Egg Prints, Charlotte Basson, Rae Flack, Martina Soldano and Nadege Honey.
Search 15 Collingwood on Facebook and Instagram to find current art pieces.
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