An insider's guide to the county's best kept secrets
The Gallery Norfolk
3 Church Street
Tel: 01263 515745
A haven of quality artwork in an environment oozing with sophistication and passion; a gallery with an ever increasing reputation for original sought after local to internationally acclaimed artists.
Where to find it
In the authentic seaside town of Cromer – 10 miles from Holt; 22 miles from Norwich – you’ll find this lively gallery situated just moments from the picturesque cobbled Gangway to the beach. Read our beach review of the old school resort and be charmed by the quaint town. It’s a pleasant day out wandering around, and an ‘on-the-up’ destination for people on the lookout for artist-signed pieces.
What to expect
Owned by a very passionate about art, Polly Miller, who opened her dream art gallery in 2012 after an impressive career in commercial art working for the EMI Classics record label commissioning artwork for CD covers, this gallery reflects not only a vibrant business but a true love of art and design. From this passion, and dedication to showcasing real talent, a colourful and pleasing gallery has emerged that rivals any in Norfolk and beyond. Taking inspiration from the sea and nature, the artists all have strong links to Norfolk and effortlessly evoke a feel for the positivity and vitality of the place. With national and international reputations, customers can enhance their collections here by buying highly respected artwork, often exclusive to the gallery too.
Artists to look out for
The gallery has a rich and eclectic array of art appealing to all tastes and budgets. You’ll find an inspiring hand-picked selection of paintings and limited edition prints. The list of artists is long and varied but look out for the vibrant colours and confident lines of Sarah McMenemy who creates beautiful watercolour images full of movement and flow, the silkscreen work of Andy Lovell that reflects an appreciation of British graphic artists, and the sought after work of trendy Paul Bommer who shares a love of humour, character and history captured by his deft lines. Their best selling artist is also Leon Bunnewell who paints stunning landscapes and seascapes in oil, recently joined by his hugely talented daughter Ruth Bunnewell, also an oil painter but of very different style. Their work is well worth a visit. With pieces ranging from £300 up to £2000, and signed limited edition prints from under £100, there’s a piece for all pockets. They also hold individual artist exhibitions around four to five times a year – details can be found on our What’s On pages.
As well as a well stocked haven of paintings, the gallery is also bursting with beautiful creative gifts, sourced with an eye for taste and style – no ‘gone to the beach’ signs here. They stock a range of affordable quirky items for the home from talented designers as well as jewellery and wooden pieces. You’ll find Clare Mahoney’s handmade porcelain pebbles with blue designs taken from nature, Naomi Brangwyn glass that’s bursting with bold and bright colours, and gorgeous plant and acrylic infused jewellery by Sue Gregor. There are deckchair stripes, greetings cards, and unique animal pieces that are unlike anything you’ve seen before. If you like tasteful well-made goods that you won’t find on the high street, then you’ll enjoy a browse here.
Picture framing service
Polly also has an instinctive eye for perfectly complementing your own artwork, offering a personal framing service of all art and craft pieces from paintings to tapestry and needlework. Polly and her assistant - the quirky and approachable Catherine Metcalf - will take the time to discuss exactly what kind of result you’re looking for, showing you a selection of bespoke frames all handmade on the premises. Their reputation for getting it right is flawless with many artists themselves allowing reframing of their own work before displaying for sale.
It’s refreshing to see a successful gallery run by people passionate about art. This sounds an obvious statement but so often they’re controlled by business minds and thus can lack an innate drive for art itself. Polly has achieved a perfect mix here of enthusiasm and know how bringing something rather special to the Cromer spectrum.
The Gallery Cromer is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. Please allow two weeks for framing orders although they will accommodate late requests if at all possible. The gallery also has two delightful resident cats so do pop in if only for a fuss.