Local Face: Melanie Bird

  |  Published: Nov 1st 2016

In September 2009, a little bird told me gallery opened in a courtyard space, now Liberty Rose, behind Antiques at Wendover. After a year working full time as the manager of a framing shop in Beaconsfield and running the gallery on her days off, Melanie decided to hand in her notice (having been there for 12 years) and put all her efforts into a little bird told me gallery. Just before Christmas 2010, Charles Chaney of Outdoor Country Clothing decided to retire and this gave her the opportunity to move into the larger barn building.

The gallery is on two floors, with the downstairs dedicated to illustrators’ limited edition prints. Melanie loves children’s book illustrations and is surrounded by such timeless classics as Beatrix Potter, Shirley Hughes and Sir Quentin Blake. She also looks for art that makes her smile and feel joyful.

The stock of cards and books has grown over the years and whilst keeping an eye out for new ideas and styles, it is the printmaker and artist cards she always comes back to.

After studying fine art at the University of Brighton, Melanie trained as a picture framer. Over the years, she has framed everything including scarves, baby’s first shoes, a shed snake skin, sports memorabilia, the ceramic poppies from the Tower of London, and of course, traditional art. Melanie has acquired many specialist skills on the way. Although the style of the gallery is contemporary, finding the right frame for each piece of work is always very important to her.

The gallery also houses over 10 jewellery designers, most working in silver. There is a permanent display of local painters, potters and glass artists, as well as vintage clothes and other interesting interior accessories.

The first floor hosts a new exhibition every month with a wide variety of artist work and group shows, and in June, it is part of Bucks Open Studios. In November renowned jeweller Kate Wilkinson will curate a show. This mini art & craft fair of 8 artists will be a great place to start Christmas shopping.

Melanie was responsible for starting the ‘I Love Wendover’ card scheme with the help and support of Wendover Chamber of Trade and Commerce. It has been a great success, highlighting the diversity of shops and businesses in the village, and she loves being part of that. People from far and wide visit and shop in Wendover for that special reason and over the years, customers have become good friends.

If you are looking for the personal touch and for something a little bit different, a little bird told me gallery could be just what you are looking for.

Melanie Bird
gallery interior
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