Castle Galleries, the UK’s leading art retailer, is celebrating 20 years of delivering style, creativity and quality to its clients today, with a birthday bash at its branch in thecentre:mk.
The anniversary marks two decades in fine art for the company which has seen its sales nearly double over the last five years as demand for its product continues to grow. Since its launch in 1995, Castle Galleries has grown from one outlet in Stratford-upon-Avon to a nationwide network of 34 galleries with avid collectors all over the world.
To celebrate, Castle Galleries, Milton Keynes in thecentre:mk shopping centre, is offering a free limited edition print with every purchase made over £250 during the anniversary weekend (10th-11th October 2015) while stocks last, and will be holding special events in store.
During its 20 year history Castle Galleries has succeeded in making fine art more accessible, bringing the art world’s contemporary talents to the high street – today, names including Bob Dylan, Ronnie Wood and Stuart McAlpine Miller work with Castle Galleries.
Castle Galleries is also dedicated to cultivating the next generation – as part of its anniversary celebrations it will be introducing three new names to its portfolio of artists. Works from abstract figurative artist Carly Ashdown, 36, fashion illustrator Laura Tinald, 30, and low brow pop surrealist artist Robert Oxley, 43, will be featured across is nationwide galleries.
Ian Weatherby-Blythe, Managing Director of Castle Galleries, who started the business aged 27, reflects on the brand’s beginnings:
“Before Castle Galleries opened, I felt there was nowhere that ordinary people could get access to great, affordable art. So I decided to open an art gallery that I personally would feel comfortable buying art from.
“For the past 20 years Castle Galleries has consistently succeeded in breaking down barriers– I am extremely proud that we have played a pivotal role in making great art much more accessible. We have worked hard to make our galleries approachable and friendly in every way possible – from our welcoming staff to our relaxing gallery interiors.”
Ian explains: “When Castle Galleries first opened it was mainly a print based business, but now we’re seeing an increased desire for original works and sculptures as well as limited editions – one of many developments that has occurred during our history as a business. We feel the name ‘Castle Fine Art’ reflects our high quality product, and who we are today as a brand.”
To mark 20 years of business, here's 20 facts on the Castle Galleries brand:
1.Castle Galleries has stocked work from over 100 artists in its 20 year history, including Stuart McAlpine Miller, Romero Britto and Raphael Mazzucco
2. As the UK’s leading art retailer, Castle Galleries currently boasts 34 galleries around the UK – soon to be 35 when Castle Fine Art opens at Birmingham’s Mailbox later this month
3. The fastest selling collection in Castle Galleries 20 year history saw one edition sell out in a record five minutes!
4. Castle Galleries founder Ian Weatherby-Blythe was a born retailer, managing his own business from age 16
5. Castle Galleries holds approximately 250 events every year, giving people the opportunity to meet the UK’s leading artists
6. The business, along with its fine art publisher, employs 225 people – approximately 1oo of which are art consultants selling work across the Castle Galleries network
7. Castle Galleries’ first outlet opened in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1995. It can still be found in the same street
8. Work from artists harking from all corners of the globe including the USA, New Zealand, France, China and Rome adorn Castle Galleries’ walls
9. Artists of all ages – ranging from age 27 at the youngest and 92 at the oldest – can be found in Castle Galleries’ portfolio of artists
10. Every single limited edition and original work sold by Castle Galleries will be signed by the artist
11. Work from artists specialising in a wide range of genres including Photorealism to Pop Art and photography to sculpture can be found in Castle Galleries’ retail outlets
12. Castle Galleries’ fine art publisher Washington Green Fine Art will celebrate 30 years in business next year after launching in 1986
13. Supporting new artists is important to the business – as part of its Autumn Collection 2015 Castle Galleries introduced artists Carly Ashdown, Laura Tinald and Bob Oxley to the fine art market
14. Castle Galleries sells fine art from cultural icons including Bob Dylan, Ronnie Wood and Billy Connolly
15. Every month, over 2000 paintings and prints are expertly hand mounted and framed by a team of talented craftsmen for Castle Galleries
16. Every piece of Castle Galleries’ art is framed bespoke – the final design is picked from a selection of 400 wood frames and 40 different mounts
17. The Castle Galleries website receives over 5 million page views each year
18. Castle Galleries is home to work from over 60 of the UK’s leading contemporary artists
19. 20 is the magic number – exactly 72 people have bought exactly 20 pieces from us to date!
20. Since its launch in 1995, Castle Galleries has delivered quality, creativity and style to its clients for the past 20 years
For more information visit Castle Galleries, Milton Keynes, 27 Acorn Walk, thecentre:mk, MK9 3AD or see: www.castlegalleries.com