Lady in Red, the art gallery formerly located in the Adega Cooperativa building in Lagoa, has moved to its new premises in Portimão.
The art gallery is now located in a two-storey space on the town’s busy Rua Infante Dom Henrique (no.140), just a stone’s throw away from the local shopping street Rua das Lojas and near two other art galleries, making this part of Portimão something of a new artistic hub.
As gallery manager Vasco Lamberti told us at the inauguration event on Friday, moving to a new location was just a matter of time.
“The building in Lagoa was starting to collapse and was becoming dangerous for both clients and staff. It was also for sale, meaning we had no guarantee we would be able to stay there for much longer,” he said. From the get-go, the plan was to move to Portimão.
“It’s true our previous gallery was located on a national road (EN125) and had ample parking, but we wanted to be in a more central area, closer to local citizens and tourists. Daniela Medeira (co-manager) and I are also from Portimão, so it’s great to be able to bring the gallery to the town,” Vasco explained.
What is immediately apparent to those who knew the previous space in Lagoa is that the new gallery is much smaller.
“The biggest challenge of this move was moving from a 3,000m2 space to one with 200m2; we had to fit everything in here, and that was the most difficult part,” he told us.
While Lady in Red continues to work with the same 50 or so artists, both Portuguese and foreign, the number of artworks it is able to exhibit at the same time is now much lower.
The process of moving all the artworks and carrying out the needed renovations to the new building took around four months and a half.
“We reused everything, from recycled materials to the metal grids we used at the previous gallery,” said Vasco. “This new space was in good condition, but it wasn’t suitable for an art gallery, so we had to transform the space to fit our theme.”
The smaller space means that Lady in Red will no longer be able to host the same scale of events that it did before, although it has maintained the concept of being “more than just an art gallery”. Visitors will find a selection of local products, from hot sauces and honey to liqueurs, a bar, and a selection of smaller art pieces on the ground floor, while the larger artworks are exhibited on the first floor, which has a floor opening providing a view of the ground floor and vice-versa.
Lady in Red will now have rotating exhibitions, allowing the gallery to showcase the many artworks of its collection over time despite its smaller physical space.
Being located near other art galleries is not something that worries Vasco Lamberti.
“We actually think it is very positive, and we think the other galleries should think the same, because any client we attract can always become a client of their galleries and vice-versa,” he said, stressing that the area is becoming an “art neighbourhood”.
Lady in Red is open from Monday to Saturday between 10am and 6pm. Admission is free.