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Tavira gallery launches art online

By Lynne Booker

It is recognised that during an economic downturn, one of the first things to be adversely affected is culture. But with a bit of lateral thinking both artists and their art can survive.

Matthijs Warner, joint owner with Isabel Macieira of the Casa 5 Association in Tavira, came up with an idea in answer to the economic problems which have hit even the tourist filled city of Tavira.

Matthijs is creating a database of all interested artists and on the Casa 5 website ( local artists can sell their art online.

Under this arrangement, the artist deals directly with the buyer and is not required to pay commission on works sold. The only charge made by Casa 5 is for the gallery page.  

Matthijs said: “I started up a website in Holland about 10 years ago ( to promote the work of artists. With the experience of this website, I want to do it a bit different and relate it to my new hometown Tavira and the Algarve.”

Of the gallery itself, he said: “People come in and look, but they rarely buy.  This website creates new opportunities for buyers to find the art they like.” 

There are many artists who live in the Tavira area and they lament the shortage of gallery space in the city.

As well as their initiative on the website, Matthijs and Isabel run workshops and host guest artists of all nationalities. A recent Casa 5 project was a life drawing workshop led by renowned English artist Jill Stott. 

Matthijs and Isabel aim to promote art and artists in all media, from the amateur through to the professional level.  While their work in the gallery consumes much of their time, they are also building a network of artists in and around Tavira. 

Isabel Macieira has been an art teacher since 1983 and has published a book on the Sacred Art of Tavira from the Fifteenth to the Twentieth Century.  She has had several individual and collective exhibitions in the Algarve as well as in Lisbon, Porto and the Alentejo. 

Matthijs Warner from the Netherlands studied at the Academy of Art in Arnhem.  He has held exhibitions in Amsterdam and throughout the Netherlands and in Paris, Hamburg and Portugal. 

Art gallery Casa 5 (on the road between the cinema square and the Vila Galé hotel) is open from 10am to 1pm on weekdays.

For more information, please visit or email [email protected].