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Work of art . . . Oamaru sisters Glynis Laidlaw-Jones (left) and Sarah Laidlaw are excited to open their art gallery, Allegria, in Harbour St. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

The Allegria gallery is the latest addition to Oamaru’s Harbour St.

The art gallery was opened by Oamaru sisters Glynis Jones-Laidlaw and Sarah Laidlaw about three weeks ago.

Since its opening, the gallery had been well received by tourists and Oamaru residents alike, Mrs Jones-Laidlaw said.

Setting up an art gallery had been a long-held aspiration for both sisters.

“We’ve always wanted to have a gallery together,” she said.

Ms Laidlaw believed Harbour St was one of the best places in town to run the gallery.

“We feel that Harbour St could be world-class,” she said.

“It’s just as equal as some of the other places around the world that we’ve been to.”

The sisters decided to set up the gallery in memory of their mother, Betsy Laidlaw, who was also a passionate artist.

“We’ve got little touches of our mother around the gallery,” Mrs Jones-Laidlaw said.

“She’s the main inspiration behind our creativity. We just wish she was alive to see what we’ve done.”

Many of the works that feature in the gallery are acrylic paintings, but the sisters are planning to show other forms of art.

“We’ll probably do lots of different things, but at the moment [we’re doing] predominantly acrylic painting,” Mrs Jones-Laidlaw said.

“We’re not actually in competition with anyone. It’s just got a different vibe.”

The sisters enjoy the freedom and creativity of creating art.

“Creative people have an urge that’s got to get out,” Mrs Jones-Laidlaw said.

“It’s a creative urge that gets you, and if you don’t do it for a while, you start to get cranky.”

Previously, Mrs Jones-Laidlaw operated her own art studio in Harbour St for about six years.

While the gallery was only a small space, it was big enough for both women to be able to show off most of their art.

The sisters said they did not care whether the gallery succeeded or failed, because they were both doing what they loved.