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“Great Gallery”

The Upstairs Gallery
Ranked #8 of 20 things to do in Beccles
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Owner description: The Upstairs Gallery is a multi-award winning art gallery in the Suffolk market town of Beccles. With 89 rotating artists every month, it is one of the busiest commission free galleries in UK today. We welcome your reviews good and bad on this page, and will do our best to reply to them honestly. The Upstairs Gallery is situated on the upper floors of a grade two listed building. With 15 rooms of artists solely from the region of East Anglia, and an ever-changing exhibition, there are 14 volunteers who help maintain and keep our gallery open for our visitors, clients and visitors. A lifecasting service is available at The Upstairs Gallery by our in-house lifecaster Michelle Payne see her personal page Open times for 2014 have changed: We are now open Mondays to Saturdays 10-4.30 We are closed Wednesdays and occasional Sundays. Please ring before travelling (sundays only).
Reviewed 17 February 2014

arts and crafts from talented artists. worth climbing the stairs to look around. Especially like the body moulds and hand holding moulds.

Thank 443francine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TugTeam, Manager at The Upstairs Gallery, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2014

Thank you for your visit to The Upstairs Gallery, and for taking the time to write a review. We are glad you enjoyed your visit, and hope that you will come back if you are staying close by again.
Michelle - Voluntary Gallery Manager

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25 - 29 of 32 reviews

Reviewed 15 January 2014

First time to Beccles and to the gallery which i found by chance and was captivated by the mix of art and craft there which was on show. The local artist have created some really stunning handmade work, i was surprised to see jewellery which was like nothing i have ever seen before. This will be one of many visit i make to this little treasure of a gallery.

Thank Stacey T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TUGBeccles, Manager at The Upstairs Gallery, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2014

Dear Stacey T,
Thank you very much for your review, we are ever receiving new works into the gallery, and the craft artists works are so very different! Our favourite piece this month is the loving hug and kiss pendant - always amazed at the talent out there!
Kindest Regards
Michelle Payne
Voluntary gallery manager

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Reviewed 17 December 2013

Nice galleries but a bit pretentious and totally inaccessible for those with even moderate disabilities. Steep staircase and uneven floors make it difficult. Reasonable selection of art etc but nothing special

Thank Eurotraveller777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TugTeam, Manager at The Upstairs Gallery, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2014

Nice galleries but a bit pretentious and totally inaccessible for those with even moderate disabilities. Steep staircase and uneven floors make it difficult. Reasonable selection of art etc but nothing special

Dear Eurotraveller777,
The Team and myself are very sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your visit to The Upstairs Gallery.
We are in a grade two listed building, and are called the Upstairs Gallery as we are on the Upper floors.
Our gallery has artists that are hobbyist, practising, working and professional, so there are a broad range to view. we are not a commercialised arts gallery, but a small gallery run by volunteers to assist and back working artists.
This is a non-profit making gallery so there are no huge commission fees taken from the artists who rent space here.
We have 89 exhibitors each month, and the artists do rotate, so hopefully you will return and see something that does inspire you.
Kindest Regards
Michelle Payne
Gallery Manager

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Reviewed 23 November 2013

This is a beautiful place, but unfortunately is run mainly by volunteers and the lack of professilum is undoubtedly its downfall along with the growing lack of owner being on site.

After receiving a gift voucher, i had some castings done, When ringing to see if these were ready for collection I was informed yes they were done, but to just ring before you come, doing so I was then informed in fact they were not done and I would be contacted when done. After hearing nothing, after 2 months I rang and left a message with another volunteer. nobody returned my call, another month past I rang again, again being told the owner was on holiday and a message would be left, again no reply to Me. After "popping" in to the gallery on a whim the owner was there and showed me two plain castings, still not finished (aug/sept by now) she took my number (again) and said she would get back to me! In October after hearing nothing again, and another message being left I finally get a phone call to say the owner was again on holiday and they would be completed upon her return!!!! Bearing in mind I had the castings done in may and this was now October I asked the volunteer for a full refund. Again being told a message would be left for the owner to contact me. Eventually after my husband rang for me I had a phone call to say my full refund was there. I went to collect this and the owner was there...after a flimsy explanation of my castings being lost, the owner then points when I am exiting to two hand castings on a fireplace-saying they were mine!!! With no offer of a discount, or infact for free.... (After all the grief, phone calls, petrol going up there, interest on my money she would of received & waiting for over 5months) I refused to pay full price for these, she offered me nothing, saying she was not QD and does not give her art away for free! Now this is a lovely place and has great art, but unfortunately the owner seams to be basking in her success and forgetting the local "small" paying people. I only hope her lack of organisation, her lack of regard for my art (being my 3month and 3 year olds hand casts) and her disregard for small paying customers is not the gallery's undoing.
I would never recommend this to anyone purely because
:organisation
:lack of communication
:lack Of interest from "artist/owner
:lack of respect to customers




2  Thank S4r4hc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TugTeam, Manager at The Upstairs Gallery, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2014

Dear S4r4hc,
We understand your frustration and have already responded to you in person during your visit to collect a full refund.
Personal statement from artist:
My name is Michelle Payne and I am personally responding re: the above customers dissatisfaction.
The customer was totally right to be angry about the delay in her castings, which were in fact lost due to the volume of work throughout both the gallery and the life-castings.
This has since been rectified by a complete overhaul of the casting rooms and the integration of a new studio space for the life-casting work itself.
The life-casting is a totally separate enterprise with my life-casting being done in house. It should in no way be reflective on the gallery itself or the volunteers who do their best to keep the gallery open for visitors and the artists alike.
The volunteers were all aware of the problems with the above customer, and have since been made aware of any statements by the above customer on social media sites.
I did have an irate and aggressive visit from you, and having already apologised and agreed on a telephone call to give you a full refund as you had requested this, on your visit, handed the refund to you with no quibbles.
You had already viewed the casts unfinished, and the casts were placed ready for you to collect if you had asked for anything other than a full refund. You were insistent on a full refund, and then returned with further vocal aggression and a demand for full refund (which you had already accepted) and the work for 'free' .
Once again, I apologise for having misplaced the works, this is genuine human error.
This is the last and final apology to you.
Having rectified the situation surrounding the loss of the casting, and having no reflection on the volunteers, I sincerely hope this does not have an effect on the gallery itself.
I will continue to work with the funeral homes, clients and customers, to the best of my abilities.
If you wish to further discuss anything you have read or disagree with, the email address for the gallery is as follows
info@theupstairsgallery.co.uk or you may telephone 01502 717191
I am available for your full attention on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Yours Sincerely
Michelle Payne
Lifecaster and artist
Volunteer Manager for The Upstairs Gallery

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Reviewed 11 September 2013

The Upstairs Gallery is simply wonderful. Hidden away above Lloyds Bank it is very easy to miss, but any visitor to Beccles - and indeed every resident of Beccles - should visit it.

Paintings by local and national artists are displayed in a quirky warren of tiny galleries, and change on a regular basis so there is nearly always something new to see.

The gallery also sells prints, cards and other artefacts at reasonable prices, as well as body casting if that is your thing!

You will always get a warm welcome, especially if Michelle, the proprietress, is there.

The only downside is access - a couple of fairly steep staircases and no lift, which rules out some potential visitors, but it is worth the effort. If it ever gets the funding to move to a more accessible venue, it could become one of the very best art galleries outside London.

I love it!

2  Thank Andrew N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TugTeam, Manager at The Upstairs Gallery, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2014

Dear Andrew N,
Thank you for your wonderful comments. We are very proud of our artists and the work that the gallery provides too!
I hope you continue to visit throughout 2014, and look forward to seeing you,
Kindest Regards
Michelle Payne

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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