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Anderson opens new Front Street art gallery

Art work: Danjou Anderson, left, owner of new Gallery One Seventeen and his nephew Nicholas Mello, who looks after the gallery's website and social media (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Veteran art dealer Danjou Anderson has started a new gallery with a blank canvas.

Mr Anderson transformed an old shirt embroidery store into a sleek modern gallery to showcase the best of Bermudian artists — both traditional and modern.

He said: “We’ve taken over this space and fixed it right up and made a proper art gallery out of it.”

Mr Anderson added: “I’m focusing on local professional artists. That isone of the main things we want to get across — it’s a professional art gallery for professional artists.”

But he said: “There are some professional overseas artists that come here to paint and I try to represent one or two of them as well.”

Mr Anderson, who formerly ran the Windjammer 3 gallery at Bluck’s on Front Street, opened his Gallery One Seventeen further along Front Street last week.

He said: “We have an artistic environment here — a lot of people don’t realise until they visit galleries and see how good the work is.”

Mr Anderson said he planned a mix of traditional Bermuda landscapes and seascapes from respected artists like Sheilagh Head, Jill Raine and marine specialist Stephen Card.

But the gallery also is home to more modernist and expressionist work from painters like Charles Zuill and Christina Hutchings.

The gallery can also arrange commissioned work from its stable of artists.

Mr Anderson said: “We don’t want to be put in a traditional box, just selling en plein air landscapes.

“I’m interested in expressionism and modernism, which suits younger collectors.

“Younger people tell me they want to see more contemporary work — I do carry traditional landscapes and seascapes of Bermuda, but I’m trying to get another angle on what you can sell.”

But he added: “For the average viewer, the aesthetics of Bermuda translates very well to canvas and paper as paintings and drawings.”

Mr Anderson, also an accomplished actor who studied in New York, started his career in art more than 25 years ago, beginning at the former Heritage House gallery in the framing department, rising to gallery director in the 1990s.

He said: “I’m from an artistic family — one sister is an artist and the other is a photographer.”

And Mr Anderson said: “We represent some of the best Bermuda has to offer in fine art.”

He added: “We are 100 per cent a retail gallery as opposed to a non-profit or a museum.”

Mr Anderson added that the recession saw international business shut up shop in Bermuda, cutting the market for art for corporate settings, but that the economy showed signs of improvement.

He said: “I’m an optimist and always have been — I have this idea that companies will come back and I want to sell them some art for their empty walls. A lot of it is about connecting with the corporate world here.”

The gallery’s website can be found at http://www.gallery117bda.com