East Lothian church launches virtual art gallery

An East Lothian church has set-up an innovative online art gallery as a way to bring the local community together.

Visitors to the virtual gallery can move around to look at different paintings
Visitors to the virtual gallery can move around to look at different paintings.

During lockdown, Longniddry Parsh Church created "Elcho Artspace" as a virtual meeting place to encourage a sense of creativity and spirituality.

Whilst the venue is online, the church's planning team worked with a New Zealand-based web company, Exhibbit, to come up with a look that makes it feel as realistic as possible.

Rev Dr Robin Hill, minister of Gladsmuir linked with Longniddry, is enthusiastic about the new visual arts initiative.

He said: "People of all ages love to express themselves whether through painting, drawing, photography or other media.

"And Longniddry has a long tradition of exhibiting artwork for all the community to enjoy.

"Working with Exhibbit, we have come up with a truly adaptable virtual space of real quality which we hope and trust visitors will like to ‘walk' around.

"We are looking forward to enjoying all sorts of creativity in time to come."

Named after the road that the church in Longniddry is on, the new Elcho Artspace can stage exhibitions of up to 30 pieces of work.

The intention is to encourage the village's artists, young and old alike, to get creative around key festivals of the Church year including Harvest, Remembrance, Christmas and Easter.

At other points in the calendar, themed exhibitions will be organised with Elcho Artspace and made available free of charge to local schools and other community groups for their own events.

The opening show is now under way on the theme of ‘Summer', featuring artworks by people in the village and beyond.

Admission is free and all are welcome to visit the gallery.