After nine years of operations, Art Jericho in King Street will close at the end of December.
Jenny Blyth has curated exhibitions at Art Jericho since 2009. She says: “This space was ideal for a gallery. We had lots of fun, and have shown some wonderful artists, along with book launches, gigs, and poetry readings”.
The building is to now be redeveloped. The owner, Lucinda Leech, had offered Jenny ground-floor space in the redesigned building. But this would have been smaller, and have less light, Jenny she decided not to take it, and is now thinking about other premises. She emphasizes that she quite understands the owner’s position.
This distinctive building has had an interesting history. At times it has been used by chimney sweeps and builders, and car and motorbike companies. For a more detailed history please see THIS ENTRY on Jericho Onine. At one time the top floor housed a museum dedicated to GK Chesterton, See THIS ENTRY.
In 1983, the building underwent a striking renovation to become the workshop of furniture designer Lucinda Leech. She stayed until 2007, and then leased the building to Patricia Baker-Cassidy who converted the ground floor to an art gallery. In 2009, Baker-Cassidy handed over to the current curator Jenny Blyth. In 2013, Jenny took over the lease for the whole building, continuing to sublet the upper floors to a publishing company.
Lucinda Leech, who now lives in Herefordshire, still owns the building and needed to refurbish it, in part because the upstairs in particular is in a poor state of repair, with multiple leaks and damp which also threatened the gallery below. In April 2016, she received planning permission for a redesigned building with ground-floor commercial use and two flats upstairs. She has now put in a slightly modified plan, as illustrated.