How a West End interior design store is doing its bit for charity
If you head along Great Western Road further west than Anniesland Cross and towards Knightswood, and take a left onto Munro Place, you will find a hidden oasis. This may not be the most likely spot to find one of the most exclusive furniture stores, but if you make the journey, you will not be disappointed.
The Store Interiors is an Aladdin’s cave of sofas, beds, lighting, mirrors and more. You name it and they do it. This family run business has been going for 32 years and is co-owned and managed by brothers Arun and Ashoke Pasi. They moved into their current location in the summer of 1996, and this impressively sized building offers three floors worth of gems to get your interior design taste buds going.
But that’s not all. The Store Interiors is more than just a ‘store’. For the last few years The Store has run an art exhibition over one weekend in November where artists from the local area, and a bit beyond, sell their work. The proceeds from this exhibition go directly to the charities CHAS (Children’s Hospices Across Scotland) and Marie Curie – hence why the exhibition is aptly called Art for Heart’s Sake.
Comprising mainly of paintings, the exhibition also includes other art forms such as jewellery and sculptures. Argyll-based artist Lex McFadyn helped to set the project up as well as exhibiting his own work. Other well-known names that have exhibited include: Bill Blackwood, Kirsty Cameron, Norman Edgar, Margaret Evans, James Harrigan, Katie Littlefield and Mo Roxburgh.
The exhibition has grown arms and legs over the years, and boasts about 80 artists. So far, around £14k has been raised for charity. It is part of a number of initiatives that the team at The Store has been involved with over the years to raise money for good causes. Previously the management have shaved their heads to raise funds for cancer, and have also been involved in the Moon Walk in Edinburgh.
The inspiration for the project came partly after a visit by The Store’s owner Arun to Robin House in Balloch, which is run by the charity CHAS in support of vulnerable children. He explains, ‘The visit was incredibly emotional for me and clearly CHAS is doing some incredible work, which is why we decided to support them through this project. Marie Curie Cancer came along for similar reasons.
‘The other inspiration for me has been my mother, who has always given money to charity over the years and I’ve had this instilled in me from a young age.’
The exhibition will run again this November and the timing for this is intentional. Arun says, ‘We decided a good time for people to buy things would be around November and December time. We really wanted a date that was memorable so we thought around Guy Fawkes would be good timing because everyone remembers that date. We have made the preview night the first Thursday after Guy Fawkes night.’
Many of the artists that have exhibited so far have found out about the project through word of mouth from other artists. Art for Heart’s Sake is now hoping that a number of artists who are part of Glasgow Art Club, Paisley Art Club as well as Ayr Art Circle and Helensburgh Art Club will take part this year.
But the exhibition is as much about supporting new and emerging talent as it is about exciting artists. And The Store has ambitions to grow. Arun comments, ‘I want us to do more. I would like to be in a position where we use the entirety of the building to exhibit artists over a longer period of time, maybe one full month. This will allow us to open up the exhibition to a greater number of artists and ultimately support good causes.’
The preview night is a great way for The Store to drum up interest in what is exhibited. I was lucky enough to stumble upon it by accident a couple of years ago while shopping in The Store – I was handed a glass of prosecco and a chance to browse through the artwork. It was a great experience in the ambient surroundings of a furniture store.
The preview night has live music and a raffle takes place with generous prizes – last year’s prizes included a meal for two at the Ubiquitous Chip, a two-year subscription to Homes and Interiors Magazine, a meal for two at Mother India and a total of 13 different prizes.
Arun says, ‘Every penny we raise is given to charity, we don’t take a penny out of it. In the future I don’t mind if there’s a 100 artists or 200 artists as long as more money goes to charity that is the main thing. All of the West End is invited to it and we hope to see you there.’
So if you are near Munro Place this November, I would highly recommend popping in. And you never know you may purchase some art, as well as some furniture.
Art for Heart’s Sake will run at The Store Interiors, 26 Munro Place, Glasgow from Thursday 7 to Monday 11 November. The preview evening for the exhibition will take place on Thursday 7 November between 5pm – 9pm. All Westenders welcome! http://www.thestoreinteriors.co.uk