Attention art lovers, there is a new reason to visit Hull Street! Manchester’s newest residents, Anne and Charlie Westbrook, have opened a new art gallery at 1309 Hull Street by the name of Manchester Contemporary.
According to the Manchester Contemporary website, the “gallery seeks to provide a compelling venue for emerging and established artists interested in reaching both local and national collectors.”
The gallery’s first exhibit entitled Adverse Reaction features Charlie Westbrook’s own abstract paintings. The gallery describes the Adverse Reaction exhibit as the following:
“Taking a break in style by turning away from the figure, this series entitled Adverse Reaction explores Westbrook’s interest in contemporary and abstract concerns. He has pushed his curiosity in expressionism to employ large brushwork, paint pours and drips to create conceptual appearances of figures or objects that encourage an original and unique viewer connection with his work.”
Getting to Know Anne & Charlie Westbrook
Given the description, I was intrigued by this new art gallery and wanted to get to know more about its owners: Charlie and Anne Westbrook. So I reached out with a series of questions. Here is what Anne Westbrook had to say.
Tell us about yourselves. Where are you from originally?
“Charlie is from Cleveland and I am from Northern VA. We most recently lived in The Plains. We came to RVA several years ago looking for real estate investment opportunities and found two properties on Hull Street in Manchester that met our criteria perfectly. We did not intend to move to RVA, but after diving into the project, we fell in love with Richmond and really the Manchester area.”
What do you do when you aren’t running your new gallery?
“Real estate development, specifically urban redevelopment and Historic renovations. Charlie works for One South and I work for Heitman (Chicago based real estate investment firm).”
Why did you decide to open Manchester Contemporary?
“I was an art history major in college and always wanted to open a gallery, but somehow ended up on Wall Street. My husband, Charlie, is a (very good) painter and we had the perfect space in our new building to launch our art gallery.”
Why did you choose Manchester?
“We love the neighborhood and are very devoted to bringing new concepts and innovation to the area.”
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
“Really none…the neighborhood has been so welcoming and we are very excited to live here.”
What’s next for you?
“Finding great artists and working to create commerce around our contemporary art concept.”
Anything else you would like to share?
“We really appreciate the opportunity to be here in RVA and connect with the real estate community, the art community and our new home!”
That sure sounds to me like an official invitation to the art community to come check out Hull Street and its newest art gallery. You can see the pictures below from Manchester Contemporary’s soft opening.
Good things are in store for Manchester. It is inspiring to watch its rebirth happening right before our eyes!