Born from a Crisis...
Sims Gallery Online was a concept at the back of my mind for some time during "semi-retirement". However the catalyst, the event that triggered the decision to act and launch the gallery was the awful Coronavirus pandemic. The changes that this situation will impose on an already-changing art market will, in my opinion be significant. I have for some time been concerned by the recent decline in the market for traditional art, and the absurd "bubble" in the modern art market brought on by the 'investment potential'. As Alfred Munnings once so aptly said “paintings are to enrich our immediate environs... to give pleasure and fond memories".
Sims Gallery was founded by Leon some forty years ago, and he continued to oversee the the launch of Sims Gallery Online - despite several attempts to retire in recent years!
Leon came to Cornwall in the late 1970's and was one of a very small number of art dealers to re-launch traditional Newlyn and St Ives art, which until then had lost momentum and was not considered commercial. The rest, as they say, is history.
Leon ran successful galleries in Penzance, St Ives and Marazion, and once famously took up a challenge from his great friend, Terry Frost, who he went on to represent in one of the most successful artist-dealer relationships in the annals of Cornish art history.
Read Art on the Line 2003 Terry Frost, an obituary by Leon Suddaby.
Given it's Cornish roots, the Sims online gallery naturally has a strong Cornish flavour, but is open to artists from all corners of the UK and beyond. The stated mission is to feature and promote the work of multiple artists, working in a variety of mediums and styles, and to offer high-quality affordable art to a wide audience.
As of September 2020 it's official, Leon has finally retired! Sims Gallery Online will now continue under the stewardship of Hayle Fine Art Ltd. Day to day business and future direction will be managed by director David Carter, who has worked with Leon from the outset of the business and who jointly curated and managed the groundbreaking Sims Gallery exhibition "Borlase Smart - a Life in Art" at the Crypt Gallery, St Ives in 2014. Working alongside David will be local art dealer Alan Combe, who has over 30 years experience in Cornish art.