The Cygnet Gallery is an original and imaginative collection of arts and crafts
The Cygnet Gallery offers local artists the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work.
The Committee - The gallery is run by the artists for the artists
Chairman - Roz Legge
Deputy Chairman - Cali Norton
Minutes - Diana Girdwood
Social Media - Grenville Allen, Facebook; Diana Girdwood, Instagram; Grenville Allen, Twitter
Rota – Grenville Allen and Hazel
Units – Claire Waters and Lionel Fermor
Display Policy - Claire Waters with Lindsay Keir
Swans Yard Liaison - Fiona Ingram
New Artists Applications – Fiona Ingram
Artists Communications - Grenville Allen
Advertising – Anna McDowell
Website - Anna McDowell
"The Cygnet Gallery” is a Swans Trust project in Swans Yard. Swans Trust (Shaftesbury) is a company limited by charitable status (Registered Charity Number: 1063757). It is the name of Shaftesbury’s Community Development Charity, a Development Trust set up in 1997 to promote and develop community, economic and cultural facilities and projects in Shaftesbury.
Situated in an historic area of Shaftesbury, Swans Yard (named after a notable Coaching Inn that once stood on the site) is known as its creative heart - and is where Swans Trust offers opportunities for several start-up businesses. The Trust rates the Yard as one of their main achievements; and, nestled in its heart is The Cygnet Gallery. In order to help promote, preserve and improve the arts and crafts in the area, The Cygnet began in 2009 with only twelve artists; it has since grown to the vibrant place it is now – with over thirty artists.
By giving them vital gallery space, The Trust continues to encourage local artists and design makers; by allowing the artists the opportunity to share their expertise and excellence in a secure and inviting atmosphere, the Trust’s initial vision is upheld. Many acclaimed artists and makers in the Art World first ‘spread their wings’ at The Cygnet, whilst some have stayed, and others have indeed returned.
Still run by the artists themselves as a cohesive and skills-based Co-operative, Swans Trust generously maintains the gracious well-lit building for them. It provides spaces (Units) for each artist for licence fees (rents) which are inclusive of electricity, water, waste, telephone and WiFi, business rates, general indemnity insurance, buildings’ insurance, alarm and fire security, and any maintenance resulting from these. The fees are also inclusive of VAT. Because these fees (rents) are greatly subsidised by The Trust, they are very reasonable; and because Swans Trust does not expect the artists to pay the usual Gallery Commission, sales prices are also kept low. All in all, customers can find a reasonably priced ‘unique collective’ of the best of local art and crafts - in one warm, welcoming and beautiful space.
In order that the artists can make the very best use of the facilities which The Trust has so generously afforded, the artists have agreed to adopt a Constitution which will legitimise the way the Cygnet is run on a day-to-day basis. Click here to download a copy of the Constitution for the Gallery which was adopted this year (2021) and has the whole-hearted approval of the Trustees of Swans Trust.
Thinking of becoming a Cygnet Artist?
There are different ways to become a Cygnet Artist.
Single use space - To rent a Studio space or Unit on your own. You would become a License Holder and commit to covering one or two shifts in the Gallery per week.
Outdoor events - To have a table or stall outside in Swans Yard at special events and fairs such as Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival, Shaftesbury Fringe, Gold Hill Faire and Christmas Late Night Shopping.
Artists wishing to apply for membership should click on the 'Apply to Join' button to find out more.