THE art world has had a tough time of it lately. While the challenges facing shops, pubs and restaurants are well documented, artists and galleries have suffered in silence.

Despite being forced to close, one Oxfordshire gallery is doing its bit to bring some cheer in lockdown.

Multi award-winning modern and contemporary gallery Dantzig in Woodstock has set out to brighten up the town and give local people something to smile about while taking their exercise, by hosting a series of exhibitions – in its window.

The gallery – which is named after Passage Dantzig in the Parisian district of Montparnasse – will host a series of pop-up exhibitions in its Market Street window, showcasing new work from established artists and exciting fresh talent.

Passers-by who admire a piece of work, or want to find out more about the artist, can go onto its website and shop.

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The innovative mini shows, being dubbed #WoodstockWindow, continue the mission of the gallery’s late founder Dave Davies to bring “trendy East London to traditional West Oxfordshire” with fun, passion and none of the stuffiness associated with some galleries.

“Dantzig strongly believes in ‘art for all’,” says gallery manager Marc West. “We try to have something for everyone and always be welcoming

“Dantzig has just celebrated five successful years in Woodstock. Pattern, colour and shape runs through everything you’ll find on our white walls, plus we’re big music fans, so we always have David Bowie alongside pictures of The Queen and Winston Churchill (obligatory in Woodstock).”

The inaugural window, which can be viewed until February 26, is curated by Summertown artist Marie Boyle who is showing new oils on canvas.

Marie studied graphic design in Paris and worked in advertising before moving to Oxford. She took up painting under the tuition of Prue Pardue RA and St Ives School of Art and has a strong interest in photography and ceramics.

Marie Boyle is curating the window this month. Picture By Marc West

Marie Boyle is curating the window this month. Picture By Marc West

Marie Boyle

Marc says: “Marie’s work evokes the ethos of St Ives – celebrating colour, shape and form. The opportunity to showcase new works from our favourite local artist was simply not to be missed.”

Next month sees the internationally-renowned David Freud take over, exclusively showing never before seen works.

Marc is keen to maintain the legacy of the gallery’s respected founder.

“Dave was a Kidlington lad but became the much-loved ‘King of Woodstock’,” he says with deep respect.

“His vision for bringing modern art to the town was inspired and much-supported. He was a fresh of fresh air and always had a smile on his face.”

He goes on: “I’ve been a fan of Dantzig since its opening, so the opportunity to assist was one not to be missed.

“I’m an art college graduate and have always harboured a desire to work in a gallery – Dave made that dream come true.”

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He adds: “Woodstock has become a real centre for art lovers and the recent arrival of Zuleika Gallery is a very welcome addition. We all compliment each other and have make the town a destination for art in addition to its reputation for good food and serious antiques.”

And he is thrilled to launch the gallery’s first pop-up window show.

“We plan to host four quarterly displays throughout 2021 and will continue to showcase new work even after we’re able to welcome our loyal clients back through the door – which will hopefully be very soon.”

Dave Davies, the late founder of Dantzig Gallery. Picture by Ed Nix

Dave Davies, the late founder of Dantzig Gallery. Picture by Ed Nix

The late gallery founder Dave Davies

David Freud welcomed the chance to show his work in lockdown, saying: “I hope #WoodstockWindow provides a safe occasion for people to get out and enjoy art.

“I’m very happy Dantzig Gallery survived the death of its founder, the unforgettable Dave Davies who I think of with affection and gratitude.

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“His partner Beth Lumb is bravely keeping the place running as this part of Dave’s legacy has become a hub of culture and community in Woodstock. It’s important to support this kind of independent enterprise, especially now.

“One of the reasons I became an artist was to spend more time with my dog, so I’ve really enjoyed making this show which includes work that can be viewed as decorative or conceptual.

“I like to think art can also be pivotal, a focal point or event around which new intentions and behaviours form.”

  • #WoodstockWindow
  • Dantzig Gallery is in Market Street, Woodstock
  • Marie Boyle’s exhibition is on show until February 26
  • MORE: Find out more at

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